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Dear Editor,

A new type of predator has surfaced. These are adults who encourage, ensnare and entrap another adult into a casual sexual relationship. The motive is to extort money or favors by applying pressure through threats of exposure and if all fails, photos and videos of the sexual relationships will be produced.

These predators target men of high social standings, public official ie; government, federal, fono members and church officials or anyone that has much too lose when exposed.

The predators are ruthless and aggressive. They will threaten to tear you and your family down if you try to terminate the relationship. Threats of the photos or videos will be launched through the media if you, do not pay up. But before that happens, you will be squeezed out of everything of value.

Just like any victim, your life is being compromised. You may face fear of exposure, shame, loss of prestige in the eyes of your family and of the public. These are the leverages used by the predator to hold power and control over you, the victim. Most likely this person is working with a hidden organized group of scammers. People who are in the ‘know’. They can also be known as suspects.

Unfortunately many victims have quietly succumb to these forms of coercion, and paid out the money or favors as “Hush payments”. Were talking thousands of dollars.

If ADULTS are in a mutual consensual sexual arrangement, that is your business.

The criminal is the partner or person trying to take money from you by threatening you with exposure.

The criminal is the one that sets you up by secretly having pictures and videos made of your intimate acts with or WITHOUT your knowledge or consent.

Usually before the payout the extortionist has been emailing, calling, showing up at your office, threatening to confront your family members  harassing and pressuring you. No matter what the perpetrator/ extortionist says, most likely your pictures and videos have already been circulated.   

If this is happening to you, report this person to Homeland Security or CID.

YOU are a victim of SEXTORTION.

Don't let these people get away with your life. These people need to be arrested, prosecuted, put in jail, and if deported black marked by Immigration from returning.

I am compelled to write this article as a form of awareness on this type of criminal activity.

This is my first encounter of this kind of vice. The motive is to use their intimate affair to extort money from a mutual agreed upon relationship. This person is so aggressive that she would try to use anyone or means to get her money.

I was approached by a 44-year old woman from Apia claiming she is a victim of human sex trafficking by a high profiled individual. After sorting out the story, it became obvious to me what the hidden agenda was. When the mutual arrangement was terminated by her partner, the perpetrator flew here to Pago to exact the value of her services at the tune of one million dollars. She was confident and was armed with pictures and a video of their sex scenes.

If we have been enjoying laughter, joking and feigned horror of these whispered extra-adult-activities by sharing the pictures and videos being circulated by mouth and social media... it's not funny.

Sharing intimate images should be against our standards of decency. We should be angry or insulted that someone is manipulating, extorting or blackmailing another human being. Ignoring this issue only empowers and encourages the perpetrator. You or someone you love may be the next easy target.

Officials be warned, the people you are complacently allowing to break the law ie; trafficking, smuggling, falsifying documents, allowing illegal entry into our country, bearing false witness, engaging in secret sex activities, may find its way back to you through extortion or blackmail.

Other examples are government officials or persons in authority using sex as a condition for a job or in exchange for licenses or permits. Corrupted public servants in trusted positions ie; medical, police, clergy, counselor, chiefs who have access to your personal or intimate information can use that same information to extort money or favors from you. Also beware if you are in collusion with another person on any illegal activity, you may find yourself paying out ‘hush’ money.

Another form of extortion that is plaguing our children: Some teachers giving favors or exchanging passing grade scores or sports opportunities, for sex from their students. Adults encouraging or flattering kids into posing for nude or sexually explicit pictures or videos are using that method to overpower and control the unsuspecting child.

I believe extortion fueled by evil greed has been woven into the fabric of our lives through the victims silence or ignorance as they make the “Hush payments”. 

Extortion does not stop at the ‘pay out’. It can carry on to the next generation until you report them. It is time we expose “EXTORTION” by understanding its meaning and danger. Most important of all, extortionists/ blackmailers should be arrested and prosecuted.

Young people when you feel or are being threatened, all the more tell somebody and keep talking until the perpetrator is exposed. Fight against being exploited through blackmail and extortion.

Ipu Avegalio Lefiti

Victim Advocate