A 17-year-old Russian girl has been arrested for allegedly being the mastermind behind the deadly Blue Whale Challenge, that encouraged players to commit suicide.
According to the media report, the teenager, who has now been arrested, allegedly threatened her victims that she would murder them or their families if they did not complete the tasks that were set.
The Blue Whale Challenge targets those who are depressed and turns suicide into a thrilling game. After signing up, the ‘players’ are set tasks for 50 days, that include self-harm, watching horror movies alone, carving a whale on their arm. Their final task on the 50th day is to kill themselves. The twisted challenge has been linked to more than 130 suicides around the world.
Russian police released footage of a raid on the teenager’s house in far-east Russia, where they found portraits of Philipp Budeikin, a Russian psychology student who is behind bars after he confessed to inventing the challenge. Budeikin was sentenced to 3 years in a Russian prison, reported Hindustan Times.
“This administrator was sending particular tasks – often life-threatening – to each of several dozen members of the group,’ the Daily Mail quotes Colonel Irina Volk, of the Russian Interior Ministry. “In contrast to similar groups, teenagers in this group were blackmailed with death threats against them or their relatives for not completing the tasks.”
In July this year, Russian police had nabbed a 26-year-old man accused of being the brain behind a suicide cult resembling the Blue Whale challenge. Ilya Sidorov, arrested from Moscow, was accused of encouraging vulnerable young children harm themselves and eventually commit suicide.