Two Arrests Made in Ivory Coast in Connection to Tony Clement Extortion Attempt
Two men have been arrested in the Ivory Coast, in connection to a case of extortion involving Parry Sound-Muskoka MP Tony Clement, CTV News has learned.
The men, identified by the initials CH and DML, were detained by the country’s cybercrimes unit last month. Sources tell CTV News that the arrests are linked to Clement’s case.
The former Conservative MP, who now sits as an independent, announced in November that he was being targeted by an extortionist.
Clement claimed he had send sexually explicit images and a video of himself to someone he thought was a consenting female, but the person tried to blackmail him. He reported the incident to authorities.
"I recognize now that I have gone down a wrong path and have exercised very poor judgment," Clement said at the time.
Government officials in the Ivory Coast said the suspects created social media accounts under the name “Brianna Dounia” and corresponded with Clement through those profiles. After obtaining the explicit material, the suspects allegedly blackmailed Clement for 50,000 Euros, equivalent to just over $75,000.
After admitting to being the victim of the extortion attempt, Clement stepped back from some duties, but stayed in caucus.
However, a few days later, he was booted from the Conservative party after admitting to several inappropriate exchanges online. Clement blamed a “period of personal difficulty and weakness” for his actions.
CTV News was unable to contact Clement for comment.
-With files from CTV News and CTV's Ottawa Bureau Chief Joyce Napier