UK: Abdul Elahi Jailed for Blackmailing 2,000 Victims Into Paedophilic Activity, Self-Harming

victims
National Crime Agency (NCA)

Abdul Elahi, a serial blackmailer who targeted 2,000 victims online, forcing them to self-harm and engage in paedophilic activity, was jailed after admitting 158 charges committed against 72 victims.

Abdul Elahi, 26, forced his victims, around 550 of whom were British, to send degrading images of themselves or others to him.

The National Crime Agency (NCA), roughly equivalent to America’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), said that Elahi would target vulnerable people, such the underage and people in debt, by posing as a wealthy individual on ‘sugar daddy’ websites and promising large sums of cash for indecent photos.

After he obtained the photos, Elahi would use them as blackmail to extort more extreme photos and horrific videos from his victims, demanding that they film themselves self-harming and/or physically abusing young children and younger siblings, for example.

If victims refused to send Elahi what he demanded he would become aggressive and threaten to send their explicit photos and videos to their families and friends.

When his victims begged for mercy or said they were suicidal, Elahi would laugh at and ridicule them.

Elahi would sell this content via encrypted platforms and made upwards of £25,000 in the process. One customer alone purchased over 1,000 hours of ‘box set’ content from Elahi.

When questioned in court Elahi admitted that he viewed his “sadistic” crimes as a job and was “trying to make as much money” as he possibly could.

His victims ranged from eight-month-old babies to adults, and detectives believe there are many more victims to be discovered.

More than 67,000 images were recovered from Elahi’s hard drives and victims are believed to be from around thirty different countries.

Sentencing judge Sarah Buckingham described Abdul Elahi as the “very worst type of predatory offender ever identified thus far”.

She told Elahi he had “plainly derived pleasure from the agony you caused – with complete disregard for your victims’ suffering,” and that there was “a sadistic element to your offending, demonstrated through the blackmail and the relentless targeting of children and young adults.”

“The abhorrent nature of your crimes warrants an extremely long sentence for the protection of the public,” she said, handing down a reported sentence of 32 years — although he will be eligible for release after serving only two-thirds of it.

The NCA had been working with the Revenge Porn Helpline for over two and a half years in an attempt to remove Elahi’s content from social media and pornography sites. They have so far removed 135,000 individual images.

“This content is some of the most extreme that the helpline has ever dealt with,” the helpline has said.

Elahi’s co-defendant Kirsty Nicholls, 35, of Northolt, west London was also sentenced to a notional six years and nine months for her role in assisting Elahi create indecent images of children, with the prosecution noting she had willing abused a young boy on camera for Elahi in a BDSM-style performance and “even made suggestions as to what to do in the next video” for him.

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