News Source:The Express Tribune
Author/S: Mohammad Shahzad
Originally Published Date: October 18, 2017
LAHORE: The Punjab FIA Cyber Crime Department said on Wednesday that it had tracked down a 14-year-old boy in Lahore engaged in the notorious suicide game, Blue Whale Challenge.
However, it did not clarify as to whether the teenager was the playing the game or involved in it in some other way. It only said “content related to [a] kidnapping clip/video in Snapchat” was found on the cell phone being used by the boy.
‘Blue Whale’ taking a bite out of K-P
In a statement, the department said the Interpol Washington informed the Interpol National Central Bureau for Pakistan that it had detected activity related to the suicide game in the country.
FIA Cyber Crime Lahore Deputy Director Syed Shahid Hassan formed a team comprising Assistant Director Muhammad Usman Sub-Inspector Ashir Aroon, Assistant Sub-Inspector Hafiz Zubair and Constable Tanvir to probe into the matter.
The team visited two locations in Gulshan-e-Ravi and Johar Town in Lahore but did not find the teenager there.
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Then it obtained the GPS coordinates of the cell phone being used by the boy and tracked him down at another location in Johar Town.
It was found that the teenager was using his mother’s cell phone. The Cyber Crime Department confiscated the cell phone and summoned the mother and son on October 18.
The Blue Whale Challenge made headlines last month after reports claimed that at least 130 teenagers in Russia were instigated to take their own lives by closed social media groups.
The game, which is believed to be inspired from the blue whales who have been known to beach themselves on purpose, prey on vulnerable teenagers with low self-esteem. The victims are manipulated by group admin(s) or game curator(s) into a series of tasks over the course of 50 days.
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In the beginning, the participants are given seemingly harmless tasks like watching horror movies, not speaking to anyone for a day or going out at 3am. This escalates into tasks such as self-harm and going without sleep. Ultimately on day 50, the game supervisor demands players to take their own lives.
The players are required to send videos and photos as proof that they have completed their tasks.