By: Sattwik Biswal
A paedophile who exploited and blackmailed almost 2,000 victims globally by posing as online sugar daddy, has admitted to 158 charges after a lengthy investigation – the National Crime Agency (NCA) said.
Abdul Elahi, 26, is thought to have admitted to highest number of offences one individual has ever pleaded guilty to, NCA said.
The Guardian reported that he pleaded guilty to the final set of allegations at Birmingham crown court last month and will be sentenced at a later date.
His offending included blackmailing victims into sending him humiliating and degrading videos and images of themselves, children and siblings, which he then sold online, the NCA said in a statement following Elahi’s admissions.
Elahi, from Sparkhill in Birmingham, operated by pretending to be a stockbroker or rich businessman on “sugar daddy” websites and social media.
He singled out victims who were in debt or too young to legitimately be on the sites, tricking them into sending naked or partially clothed images of themselves.
He promised them payment of thousand of pounds and to convince his victims he used to send fake screenshots of transactions from his account.
The NCA uncovered evidence of at least 196 victims in the UK, with Elahi having tried to contact 1,367 women in the United States, and victims in 20 other countries including Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
Later he moved his victims to WhatsApp and after he had secured the images, then he would threaten to expose the photos to victims’ families and friends unless they sent more.
He held the images in cloud storage sites, which he then sold as collections via Telegram, making more than £25,000, The Guardian had reported.
Apart from blackmailing, he also held online classes on the encrypted Telegram app, teaching would-be abusers how to blackmail victims.
The NCA worked with international law enforcement and finally grabbed Elahi in December 2018, following an allegation that he was blackmailing a teenage girl in the United States.