A Norwegian man in his late 20s has been suspected of sexually exploiting young boys by impersonating a teenage girl online. According to information released by the police on 20 September, the man, who posed as a 15-year-old girl, allegedly targeted boys between the age group of 12 and 15 via Facebook and Skype.
"Up until now, we have spoken with around 60 victims and police are still working on analyzing the data that was seized. The scope of the case will increase as the investigation is still ongoing," police spokeswoman Elin Norgård Strand said.
"Police have so far provided little information to the media. The reason for this is our concern for the victims and the danger that they will not speak freely on the matter if it is discussed in the media," The Local Norway quoted the police prosecutor as saying.
The suspect, who has been in custody since March, reportedly used fake profiles to convince boys to send him sexually explicit videos and photos of themselves. While most of the attacks took place in Tromso in northern Norway, police are also investigating reports of abuse across other parts of the country.
"The accused man met some of the victims physically. He came into contact with them via a different route than the false profiles and presented himself with his true identity," Strand said.
According to reports, the accused has partially confessed to the crimes and is being charged with possession of illegal images and videos of children and also having sexual contact with minors.