Nearly one year after the death of a teenage sextortion victim from B.C.’s Lower Mainland, authorities have announced charges against a suspect in Nigeria.
Surrey RCMP said the victim – a youth hockey player – was tricked into sending explicit images to someone posing as a teenage girl online.
“That offender then blackmailed the youth with threats to share the images with his family and friends unless he complied with demands of purchasing gift cards to send to the offender,” Sgt. Tammy Lobb said at a news conference Tuesday.
The entire interaction “lasted only minutes,” Lobb said. Investigators were later called to investigate the youth’s sudden death.
Local newspapers identified the victim as Robin Janjua, a 14-year-old student-athlete with the Delta Hockey Academy. While Surrey RCMP did not name the deceased on Monday, citing privacy reasons, they presented a framed photo of the victim during their news conference.
“His name is already out there in the media and it has been publicized in previous reports,” Lobb said. “I can confirm this is our victim who we’re talking about today.”
The RCMP also shared a statement from the victim’s family urging parents to keep their children safe by discussing internet safety and keeping “the door to communication open, so they can come to you for help.”
“It has been almost one year since we lost our son,” the family wrote. “Not a day goes by that we don’t miss him. He was an innocent child who was taken advantage of due to his innocence.”
The RCMP said the suspect was identified in an international investigation that had assistance from the FBI, the Australian Federal Police, and Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crime Commission.
In July 2023, members of the Surrey RCMP’s Serious Crime Unit travelled to Lagos – Nigeria’s largest city – to help with the arrest of two suspects, one of whom was later released without charges.
The other suspect is awaiting trial on counts of possession and distribution of child pornography, attempted extortion by threats, money laundering and retention of proceeds of a non-lawful act.
“As this investigation indicates, the Surrey RCMP is committed to working with our domestic and international partners to identify, arrest and charge online predators,” said Sgt. Derek Bonner, head of the detachment’s Serious Crime Unit.”Thank you to the multiple partners and agencies who assisted us in this investigation.”
This is a developing story and will be updated.