EmpressLeak was initially conceived and established by Anderson Ofosu Hene Amin. He has reached the age of 35 and is better known by his nickname, Mario G. over the past six years; he has been running the pornographic website, Empress Leak.
According to the allegations that have been made, the accused person publicized naked images and films of Ghanaian children and adults on EmpressLeak and then later extorted money from them from his house in Osino, which is located in the Eastern area.
As a result of the cooperative efforts of the Cyber Crime Unit of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) and the Ministry of Communications, he was apprehended on July 30, 2020.
The police said that they caught him in the act of posting naked photographs and films EmpressLeak website, which is known as “red-handed.” When surveillance was set up on him and his collaborators, the police investigations had already been going on for the last half a year and were still active.
As a result of his detention, the police are continuing their search for his co-conspirators, who have since fled the scene. It is believed that the accomplices who search for nude photographs and movies are performing their duties for Mario G at several different hideouts dispersed across the country.
The accomplices become acquainted with some of the victims by using dating sites and other forms of social media to create relationships. They then use deception to get their victims to send them sexually explicit photographs and videos of themselves engaging in sexual activity.
After successfully coercing the victims into providing their nudes by using fake identities and the promise of financial gain, the accomplices copied the buffs and forwarded them to Mario G. Mario G then used the nudes to blackmail the victims into paying him a ransom in the amount of GHC 500–2000 via mobile money for him to remove their buffs from EmpressLeak.
After these victims have made the payment, they are still being blackmailed by other persons (accomplices of the founder of the Empressleak) to provide them additional money or else the photographs and videos will be re-published. For this reason, Anderson Ofosu Hene Amin was arrested and accused of the crimes of obscenity, child pornography, extortion, and money laundering.
Speaking at a media briefing, the Minister of Communications, the Honorable Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, provided additional confirmation that the Ministry’s National Cyber Security Center carried out the operation in conjunction with the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) and the National Cyber Security Technical Working Group.
She went on to say that investigation was opened into the situation on January 6, 2020, after a female Senior High School student under 18 complained that images of her in a nude state had been posted on Empress Leak’s website.
The investigations also indicated that the pornographic EmpressLeak website receives over 600,000 monthly visitors from the United Kingdom, Ghana, and Nigeria combined.
The state’s case against the defendant:
Through intelligence, the Cybercrime Unit of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) gathered that the website [Anderson Ofosuhene Anim’s] was operating in the internet space by publishing nude videos and pictures of Ghanaian children and adults without their permission knowledge. This information was gathered in January of the previous year.
After further investigation, it was discovered that Anderson Ofosuhene Anim, the proprietor of the website, had received money from victims using mobile money before removing videos and photographs of victims from the website.
However, even though the money had been paid, the films and photographs continued to be shared across social media sites.
The prosecution stated that on January 30, 2020, a team from the Cybercrime Unit went to Mr. Anim’s apartment in Osino.
They discovered that Mr. Anim had uploaded recordings to a pornographic website there.
According to the prosecution, all digital devices were recovered, and efforts are currently being made to locate Mr. Anim’s accomplices, who are responsible for taking nude recordings and images of victims and sending them to him.