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Twice as many cases of extortion
More than 5,600 complaints for extortion were lodged with the Belgian police last year, compared to 2,858 in 2011, Het Belang van Limburg and De Gazet van Antwerpen report today. “This increase is significant," says Kaatje Natens, spokeswoman of the Federal Police, who partly blames the rise on the internet and social media. "Everything is visible on the internet, which can make some people very vulnerable". Extortion, the act of getting something from someone by force, threat or intimidation, carries a maximum penalty of nine years in prison and/or a fine of up to €76,000.