NEWS

Dutch man suspected of tormenting Amanda Todd had 75 other victims, Facebook report says

12/04/2014 09:00 EST | Updated 02/03/2015 05:59 EST
The Dutch man accused of sexually extorting B.C. teenager Amanda Todd online used upwards of 90 screen names to target more than 75 victims around the world, according to a Facebook security report revealed in a new documentary by CBC's the fifth estate.

The fifth estate has also learned Canadian police are investigating 10 of those potential victims here.

Todd was tormented online for nearly two years after she flashed a crowd by webcam on a live streaming chat site. An online stalker did a screen capture of that and circulated the image to her family, friends and classmates.


The 15-year-old eventually committed suicide in her mother's Port Coquitlam home on Oct. 10, 2012. Her plea against cyberbullying, filmed a month before her death, went viral.

- Dutch police alerted to extortion suspect before Amanda Todd suicide 

In January 2014, working on information provided by Facebook, police in the Netherlands charged 36-year-old Dutch national Aydin Coban with luring a child under 18 via the computer, extortion and harassment as well as importing, distributing and possessing child pornography.

Coban has yet to stand trial and none of the charges has been proven in court. Until now, not much was known about the accused stalker, including his alleged interactions with Todd.

Todd was the only known victim of the accused stalker in Canada.

But when asked by the fifth estate about information it had obtained that there were several more victims here, the RCMP confirmed in an email there are 10 cases they have been working on.

"All have been contacted by local police to ensure the victimization isn't ongoing," the RCMP told the fifth estate. "Investigations are ongoing, so we cannot provide further details."

'Targeted by the sextortionist on Facebook'

Working with the Dutch TV program Zembla, the fifth estate has obtained information about the suspect from Facebook's report.

"An unidentified person ('the suspect'), operating at least 86 forensically linked Facebook accounts under presumably false identities, is responsible for the solicitation, creation and distribution of child exploitation images and videos, as well as the blackmailing of dozens of minor females from around the world," the report states.

The document identifies Todd as one of the suspect's victims, saying the teen committed suicide as a result of the long-term bullying and humiliation.

"She was targeted by the sextortionist on Facebook, YouTube, several web camera chat sites and other platforms."

The suspect was using more than 90 different screen names and investigators found he had targeted more than 75 individual victims from around the world.

"The suspect is highly skilled in identity obfuscation and consistently uses proxy IP addresses, clean session cookies and disposable email addresses and online handles to make contact with his victims and their friends," the report says.

Among the many aliases the suspect used in his communications with Amanda and her family were names like Tyler Boo, Austin Collins and Alice Mcalister.

'A certain level of sophistication'

Stephanie Morgan, a Kingston Police detective constable and member of the OPP's Integrated Child Exploitation Unit, says while investigators are forging ahead to track down online tormentors, it's difficult to keep up with offenders.

Morgan was shown the Facebook report by the fifth estate's Mark Kelley.

"[The suspect is] using different email address, he using different websites, he's using all kinds of different applications on the internet," Morgan says.

"He's using proxies to cover his IP address. He's doing a lot of things to help cover his tracks and so it shows a certain level of sophistication."

The Facebook report identifies messages as far back as 2011 that show Todd was a target of the suspect.

The document states it's unclear whether or not the suspect was responsible for the initial nude content he used to blackmail the B.C. teen, but messages show he did send out her topless photo to her friends, family and classmates.

Facebook didn't know who the stalker was, but it did know he was in Holland after linking several of his accounts to an IP address. After connecting the dots, Facebook forwarded a copy of the report to Dutch police.

In September 2013, armed with that information, Dutch police began their investigation into Todd's stalker.

Coban remains in custody in the Netherlands following his arrest in January 2014 in a trailer park in the southern city of Oisterwijk.

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