A man posed as a model agency scout to manipulate and blackmail girls as young as nine into sending indecent photos and videos. 

Ishmael Duncan, 24, of Walnut Tree Walk in Lambeth, has pleaded guilty to 50 offences after he was identified as the person behind Snapchat accounts which coerced and threatened children into sending naked photos of themselves. 

But investigators believe he contacted close to 10,000 children across the world using these accounts. 

Duncan would begin by approaching victims to ask if they wanted to model for well-known fashion brands. 

He would then ask for their age and personal details before requesting clothed images or videos. 

Duncan then went through a lengthy interview process and sent them convincing contracts which impersonated brand’s logos. 

After building their trust he would then equest topless photos on the pretext of assessing the victims’ body shape, and to use as a base for editing in potential clothes to be modelled. 

Girls who refused or challenged him were threatened with being blacklisted from the modelling industry. 

He used different accounts including a photographer called Callum and general manager Mark. 

Then he created another account to contact the same victims, often months later, and threatened to expose or share their photos unless they complied with his demands for more images. 

This is a message he often sent: “This is an automated message. We have your nudes, and unless you reply to this message saying “I understand", they will be sent out to expose accounts on Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter. If you reply with anything else other than “I understand”, or if you block or unfriend this account, your nudes will be sent out. This is your first and only warning.” 

News Shopper: Ishmael DuncanIshmael Duncan (Image: NCA)

Separate to his modelling approach, he also targetted victims claiming to be a child of the same age. 

On one occasion he blackmailed a 14-year-old girl with learning difficulties who sent him images, and also offered her $1,000 to engage in a sexual act with her brother. 

Duncan was reported to the NCA via the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), following two sisters in the US reporting being threatened after sending explicit images to one of the accounts. 

When officers tracked his IP address and arrest him officers discovered 19,120 indecent images of children. 

Duncan was charged with 53 counts including causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity (penetrative and non-penetrative), blackmail, sexual communication with a child, indecent and prohibited images of children (making and possession) and possession of extreme pornographic images. 

On August 21 he admitted to 42 of the counts and on Thursday (September 14) he pleaded guilty to a further eight counts. 

He will be sentenced in December. 

NCA Operations Manager Martin Ludlow said: “Ishmael Duncan cruelly preyed on young girls who had dreams of becoming models. 

“The threatening messages he sent were chilling and showed his callous disregard for the victims he exploited for his own sexual gratification in this case.   

“The NCA worked closely with overseas partners to identify and safeguard victims, a number of whom provided evidence against Duncan. 

“We will continue to operate online and internationally to target those offenders who pose the most serious risk to children.”