The blackmail scam “industrial scale” of a pedophile has targeted 2000 victims | News UK
A pedophile who exploited and blackmailed nearly 2000 people worldwide admitted 158 charges in what was described as an offense “on an industrial scale.”
Abdul Elahi, 26, admitted a multitude of charges – considered one of the offenses for which an individual has never pleaded guilty – after a long investigation, said the National Crime Agency (NCA).
Elahi had previously admitted the majority of offenses, but pleaded guilty to the last installment of allegations before the Crown Court in Birmingham last month and will be sentenced at a later date.
His calls could not be reported until Monday after the lifting of reporting restrictions. The offense consisted of blackmail victims to send him videos and humiliating and degrading images of themselves, children and siblings, which he then sold online, said the NCA in a statement following the confession Elahi.
He also taught in online courses on the encrypted application Telegram, teaching how to sing potential aggressors and victims obtain indecent images.
Elahi, of Sparkhill in Birmingham, was operating posing a stockbroker or a wealthy businessman on websites “sugar daddy.”
He identified the victims debt or too young to be legally on sites, inciting to send images of themselves naked or partially clothed. Elahi also targeted some victims on social networks.
He promised the payment of thousands of pounds to put pictures and sent fake money screenshots leaving accounts in similar transactions convince victims.
The NCA has found evidence of at least 196 victims in the UK and up to 600 contacts with others online. Elahi had also tried to contact 1367 women in the United States, with victims in 20 other countries including Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
Shortly after, Elahi transferred the victims on WhatsApp, then once he had obtained sufficient revealing images, he threatened to expose the photos to the families and friends of the victims unless they send more.
Elahi then led some victims to abuse, including self-mutilation, by singing women to send pictures of themselves being abused young children and to mistreat the girls to their brothers and sisters.
Investigators said many victims were so terrified that they felt they had no choice but to comply, with some being “prompted” to consider suicide.
Once he had pictures, Elahi has systematically classified them in boxes, stored in cloud storage sites, which he then sold as collections via Telegram, for a total of more than Â£ 25,000 .
This decision aggravated the misery of the victims because family and friends have realized this and more and more offenders attempted to blackmail them.
The NCA has worked across borders with the forces of the international order to protect the people contacted by Elahi.
Elahi was trapped in December 2018 by the NCA officers after an allegation that he was blackmailing a teenager in the United States.
His cell phone and computers were seized and subjected to forensic examination, leading investigators to discover his crime “on an industrial scale.”
Elahi admitted crimes against a total of 79 victims, ranging from children under one year to adults, committed between January 2017 and August 2020.
They included multiple counts of blackmailing, disclosing private sex films and photographs to cause distress, making and distributing indecent images of children, inciting the sexual assault of children, sexual assault on a boy, inciting or inducing children to engage in sexual activity, fraud and possession over 65,000 indecent images of children.
The NCA said that where children could be identified, they were protected.
A second defendant, Kirsty Elizabeth Nicholls, 35, of Northolt, Middlesex, has also admitted to the offenses.
Nicholls knew Elahi from a Sugar Daddy website and together they admitted to two child sexual assaults and both admitted to making indecent images of the child.