Two Ivory Coast men have been arrested after posing as a woman and enticing a Canadian MP to send them sexually explicit photos of himself.
Yesterday the RCMP confirmed that last month, two men—only known by the initials CH and DML—were arrested by the Ivory Coast cybercrimes division in connection to the sexual extortion of Tony Clement. The situation, which led to a bigger story regarding “creepy” online actions by the politician coming out, occurred in late 2018.
It was Clement who first came forward with the news he was being sexually extorted saying, on November 6, 2018, that he had “shared sexually explicit images and a video of myself to someone who I believed was a consenting female recipient.” However, Clement found that he was in fact being used for “the purpose of financial extortion.” He promptly resigned from his positions on the Conservative shadow cabinet.
The mock-up lover who caught the politician’s eye was a white woman who went by the name Brianna Douni. Sadly though, this love wasn’t to be—mainly due to the fact Douni was two men from the Ivory Coast—and once Clement sent his would-be lover photos of his wedding tackle they quickly turned around and demanded cash from the politician. If he didn’t pay up, they said, they would release the photos of his, erm, undercarriage.
At the very least, it seems that the guise of Brianna Douni was able to dupe not just Clement but also a French citizen, so Clement can take solace in the fact wasn’t alone in his humiliation. A translated version of the Ivory Coast cybercrime unit press release says that the tricks used to gain the explicit photos are “an area in which cybercriminals excels, as is the case with the two victims.”
“Active on some social networks, they both received invitations from a woman named Brianna Douni, a young white woman in search of love,” reads the release. “Soon a virtual love affair will be born between [Brianna Douni] and these two people. Like any relationship that lives behind a screen erotic photos and videos are exchanged for the happiness of lovebirds.”
At the time, Clement said the men were asking for 50,000 Euros ($75,000) and asked the RCMP to step in and figure out who was taking him for a ride. The RCMP began investigating and said, in a statement to the National Post that, “excellent collaborative efforts” led to the arrest and they “continue to work with its international partners on this matter.”
After the extortion became public, some more troubling allegations came forward in regards to how Clement conducted himself around women in the online space—”creepy” being a word many used. Clement would direct message young women online, like their stories en mass online and, in some cases, interact with nude posts.
“I’ve known for quite some time that he was that guy that was constantly commenting on people’s Instagram selfies, would follow a lot of young women on social media,” Julie LaLonde, an Ottawa-based anti-sexual violence educator, told VICE News at the time. “Both Twitter and Instagram. He just had a reputation for being really thirsty. I never heard of anything being without consent, but he was known as being this thirsty old man.”
It was these actions, not being sexually extorted, which led to Clement stepping down from not just his shadow cabinet position but the Conservative caucus as a whole. In Harper's iteration of the Conservative party, Clement was a major player, spending time as the minister of health, the minister of industry, and the president of the treasury board. At the time he was sending his nudes to Douni he was sitting on the National Security and Intelligence Committee.
Since resigning from the Conservative caucus Clement now sits as an independent MP.
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