An Indian-origin man who hacked into the pc accounts of over 574 ladies and younger ladies to take advantage of them has been sentenced to 11 years in jail for blackmail, voyeurism and cybercrimes by a UK courtroom.
Akash Sondhi gained unauthorised entry to tons of of social media accounts, specifically Snapchat, and went on to commit blackmailing crimes between December 26, 2016 and March 17, 2020, the UK’s Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) mentioned.
The 27-year-old from Chafford Hundred in Essex, south-east England, threatened his victims that in the event that they didn’t ship him nude pictures of themselves, he would publish intimate pictures of them to their family and friends. A few of the ladies complied and in at the very least six instances he went on to hold out his threats, it mentioned.
“Akash Sondhi is a particularly manipulative man who inflicted emotional and psychological injury on younger ladies, whereas additionally getting gratification from their pictures and movies,” mentioned Joseph Stickings, a Senior Crown Prosecutor within the Complicated Casework Unit for the CPS.
“Following a diligent and thorough investigation performed by the Essex Police Cyber Crime Unit the CPS was in a position to construct a complete case of 65 counts reflecting the excessive stage of his offending,” he mentioned.
“I want to thank the entire ladies who bravely got here ahead to inform of their traumatic experiences by the hands of Akash Sondhi. Their accounts offered sturdy proof and the CPS had been in a position to create such a compelling prosecution case that Akash Sondhi pleaded responsible to all counts,” he added.
The CPS mentioned various Sondhi’s victims skilled severe emotional and psychological hurt within the aftermath of his despicable actions, with one sufferer even trying suicide.
Sondhi admitted a complete of 65 offences – together with hacking, blackmail, and voyeurism – and was sentenced at Basildon Crown Courtroom 11 years in jail, a 5 12 months Severe Crime Prevention Order, and positioned on the Intercourse Offenders’ Register for 10 years.
Essex Police mentioned Sondhi focused 574 victims throughout the UK, Australia, Hong Kong, Romania and different international locations by hacking into their social media accounts, whereas a few of his victims have nonetheless not been traced. Sondhi’s tackle at Hedingham Street in Chafford Hundred, Essex, was raided by officers from the pressure’s Cyber Crime Unit on 19 March final 12 months after a number of victims, aged between 16 and 25, made studies.
“He focused with no regret purporting to be a pal on social media after hacking accounts, then as soon as he bought entry to their intimate footage he would try and blackmail them round disclosure of the pictures to family and friends demanding extra pictures and movies of his personal selection placing the victims by an ordeal inflicting excessive misery and embarrassment,” mentioned Detective Sergeant Ian Collins, from the Essex Police Cyber Crime Unit.
“Since his remand and now this sentence we’ve managed to cease this vile offender from focusing on extra victims. This can be a wakeup name for anybody committing this kind of crime: we’ll catch you and convey you to justice, and you’ll go to jail for the misery prompted to the victims,” he mentioned.
The detective additionally urged social media customers to not retailer intimate pictures of themselves and to safe and defend their information.
“Don’t share passwords even should you suppose it’s a trusted pal that asks you for them, it may not be,” he mentioned.