Lebanese security forces arrest ‘TikTok influencer’ using platform to lure, assault minors

 Lebanese authorities arrested on Wednesday six people for their alleged involvement in sexual assaults on children, sometimes using the video-sharing platform TikTok to lure minors.

The Internal Security Forces said in a statement that among those arrested was a “TikTok influencer,” who is also a hairdresser, according to local media. The six suspects are reportedly part of a criminal network comprising around 30 individuals involved in assaults against at least 30 children. The Lebanese police said in a statement that “based on information obtained by the Cybercrime Bureau of the Judicial Police, and following a complaint lodged by a number of minors with the Public Prosecutor’s Office concerning sexual assaults, compromising photos and incitement to take drugs by members of a gang, the bureau in question has been able to arrest, to date, six people in Beirut, Mount Lebanon and North Lebanon.” The arrested suspects also include three minors of Lebanese, Turkish, and Syrian nationalities who were active on TikTok, according to the statement. Highlighting that the case has been probed for about a month, the Lebanese police vowed that “the investigation is continuing with a view to arresting all members of the gang.” The head of the network, a famous TikTok personality, purportedly abused his fame and invited children to shoot TikTok videos with him, the independent Lebanese TV channel Al-Jadeed reported. The TikToker would cut the children’s hair to gain their trust before inviting them to a party, where his accomplices sexually assaulted the children.

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