British Columbia

Amanda Todd: police alerted to extortion suspect before her suicide

An investigation by the CBC's fifth estate and Dutch news program Zembla has found that police in the Netherlands were alerted to the online activities of the man eventually charged in the extortion of Amanda Todd, well before the teen committed suicide.

Police in Norway asked Dutch police to investigate Aydin Coban for alleged blackmailing another girl

The Sextortion of Amanda Todd

9 years ago
Duration 45:13
With never-before seen videos and online chats, the fifth estate tells the real story of what happened to Amanda Todd, the B.C. teen haunted by one revealing photo on the Internet. The blackmail and the sexual extortion that drove her to her death -- and the new breed of online predators who threaten the many other young people who take risks online.

An investigation by CBC's the fifth estate and Dutch news program Zembla has found that police in the Netherlands were alerted to the online activities of the man eventually charged in the extortion of Amanda Todd, well before the teen committed suicide.

In October 2012, the 15-year-old from Port Coquitlam, B.C., committed suicide after posting a video on YouTube saying she had been blackmailed by an online predator after exposing her breasts using a webcam.

Amanda Todd committed suicide in 2012 after being tormented online for months by someone who captured images of her exposing her breasts on a webcam.

In January 2014, police in the Netherlands arrested Aydin Coban, 35, in relation to an investigation in that country involving Dutch victims and charged him with nine offences.

Three months later, RCMP announced Coban was also facing five charges in B.C., including extortion, internet luring, criminal harassment and the possession and distribution of child pornography in the Todd case.

Coban has not yet been convicted on any of the crimes and it remains unclear if he will ever stand trial in Canada.

An investigation by Zembla and the fifth estate revealed police knew about Coban's alleged activities long before his arrest.

Sought by Norwegian police

The fifth estate has learned that in a separate case, officers in Norway had suspected Coban of blackmailing and threatening a teenage girl — and asked Dutch police to find him.

But they never did – saying there were insufficient grounds for a search.

Around the same time, someone using the name Tyler Boo was tormenting Todd online, and someone named Tyler Cee began blackmailing a young girl in Norway.

Todd posted a video on YouTube shortly before her suicide documenting her online exploitation. (YouTube)

He had nude photos of the girl from Norway but wanted more. He started harassing her on Skype.

“I will make you so famous the rest of your life will be a living hell,” he wrote. “I will put these videos and your full name, address and more on sites. I will do it tomorrow. You’ve had your chance.”

The girl's parents went to police, who quickly opened an investigation. Officers contacted Skype, asking for Tyler Cee’s IP address.

They received it within days and zeroed in on an address in Holland.

Twice Norwegian police urged Dutch officers to investigate, once in May 2012, then in December 2012.

3rd victim raises alarm

Todd committed suicide that fall. Just months after her death, a third girl in Holland went to police regarding online threats.

She also had flashed on webcam and was being threatened by someone named Kelsey on a chat site called Habbo Hotel.

“Put something sexy on and send cam,” Kelsey told the girl.

Todd's death touched millions around the world after her story was shared on the internet.

When she asked what would happen if she didn’t do it, Kelsey replied, “You don’t want to know, haha.”

In September 2013, a year and a half after receiving information from Norwegian police, Dutch police took action.

Officers traced Coban to a bungalow in southern Holland and arrested him there in January 2014.

More than two years after her daughter’s suicide, Carol Todd isn’t sure why the process took so long.

“If it was their child, what would they have done?” Todd told the fifth estate.

“I don't know the answers. I don't know what the right answers would be, but I would sure like to hear them," she said.

“It seems like another failure to the system.”


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