Cops probing ‘Guyanese ONLY’ Telegram group being used to share nudes

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Police are investigating a group chat called ‘Guyanese ONLY’ on the social network Telegram Messenger where nude photographs and videos of mainly Guyanese women are being shared.

Telegram Messenger is an instant messaging service that provides optional end-to-end encrypted chats, popularly known as ‘secret chat’ and video calling, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), file sharing and several other features.

According to information seen by News Room, the group’s description is stated “Post ONLY Guyanese Period!!!!” and has a membership of 466 persons with 414 photos and 115 videos shared as of Thursday evening.

When contacted, Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum confirmed that investigators are aware of the said group chat. He further noted that other similar activities are also being investigated.

“Investigators are aware of the social media group. Also, there is an investigation ongoing about a similar allegation involving the posting of nude photographs,” Blanhum told the News Room.

The News Room was reliably informed that people’s nude photographs and videos are being shared in the group without their knowledge and consent. Some are being shared by ex-partners.

The ‘nude’ group is in violation of the Cybercrime Act 2018, specifically Section 16 (1) which states that a person commits an offence if they intentionally capture, store, publish or transmit, through a computer system, the image of a person’s private area without their consent.

The Act lists any computer including desktops, laptops, and electronic tablets, as well as video game consoles, smartphones, personal digital assistants, smart televisions, and video cameras, among other things as a ‘computer system’.

If found guilty under Section 16 (1), a person can be liable, on summary conviction to a fine of $3M and three years imprisonment, or on conviction on indictment to a fine of $5M to $8M and five years imprisonment.

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