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Two men accused of blackmailing Tony Clement on explicit images arrested in Côte d'Ivoire



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CTVNews.ca Staff with a report by the head of the Ottawa office, Joyce Napier

Posted Friday, January 18, 2019 10:00 PM EST

Two men from West Africa are accused of appearing as an online woman to blackmail conservative former President Tony Clement with sexually explicit photos that sent them.

Clement, who is married to three children, admitted in November send explicit images and videos to someone who believed that she was a woman who consented but turned out to be what he called a "foreign actor."

Two men were arrested last month by Ivory Coast's cybercriminals unit. The sources confirm that arrests are linked to the case of Clement.

Ivorian Coast government officials allege that the two men created false profiles on Instagram and LinkedIn pretending to be a white woman named "Brianna Dounia." It seems they used the accounts to correspond with Clement and a French citizen.

Once in possession of the explicit images, suspects allegedly demanded 50,000 euros, equivalent to 75,000 dollars, and threatened to release the content if Clement did not pay.

The suspects are identified by government officials in Côte d 'Ivoire simply by the CH and DML initials.

Clement, 57, has admitted to more inadequate exchanges that "led to infidelities" and said they had the intention to request help. He was quickly expelled from the party of the Conservative Party, but refused to resign as a deputy.

Clement now is in the chamber as independent. CTV News could not reach him to comment on the arrests.

The federal government has specifically warned Canadians of cybercrime "romantic fraud" from Côte d'Ivoire. The public warning, published on a website of the Government of Canada, was issued in 2015 under Stephen Harper, while Clement was cabinet minister.

"We recommend being cautious and avoid sharing personal information with foreigners who request funds because of the serious risk of identity theft with their often difficult consequences," says the official announcement.

The scandal appeared on November 6 when Clement agreed to share photos with a stranger who said he was looking to extort it. Two days later, Clement admitted in addition exchanges that he called "totally consensual and mutual", but "they were absolutely wrong and they had never happened."

Clement said that one of these changes led a woman to receive money "for an anonymous social media account in exchange for the disclosure of personal and intimate information." He said he reported the incident to the Ontario provincial police last summer.

Clement apologized and said the exchanges were made "during a period of personal difficulty and weakness". He said he planned to take measures to repair his relationship with his wife, Lynne Golding, a Toronto lawyer.

The scandal brought a group of women to the Clement mountain in Ontario to launch a petition asking him to resign. Clement continues to represent Parry Sound-Muskoka and has not given signs he plans to leave.

Clement has held a position in the House of Commons since 2006. He has served in numerous cabinet positions and has twice executed the leadership of the Conservative Party, including the most recent leadership competition.

Clement eventually left the race and left behind behind Maxime Bernier, who lost conservative leader Andrew Scheer and started launching the Canadian People's Party.

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