An Indian-origin man who hacked into the pc accounts of over 574 women and younger girls to use them has been sentenced to 11 years in jail for blackmail, voyeurism and cybercrimes by a UK courtroom.
Akash Sondhi gained unauthorised entry to a whole lot 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) stated.
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 put up intimate pictures of them to their family and friends. A number of the girls complied and in not less than six circumstances he went on to hold out his threats, it stated.
“Akash Sondhi is an especially manipulative man who inflicted emotional and psychological harm on younger girls, whereas additionally getting gratification from their pictures and movies,” stated Joseph Stickings, a Senior Crown Prosecutor within the Advanced Casework Unit for the CPS.
“Following a diligent and thorough investigation performed by the Essex Police Cyber Crime Unit the CPS was capable of construct a complete case of 65 counts reflecting the excessive degree of his offending,” he stated.
“I wish to thank all the girls who bravely got here ahead to inform of their traumatic experiences by the hands of Akash Sondhi. Their accounts offered robust proof and the CPS have been capable of create such a compelling prosecution case that Akash Sondhi pleaded responsible to all counts,” he added.
The CPS stated numerous Sondhi’s victims skilled severe emotional and psychological hurt within the aftermath of his despicable actions, with one sufferer even making an attempt suicide.
Sondhi admitted a complete of 65 offences – together with hacking, blackmail, and voyeurism – and was sentenced at Basildon Crown Court docket 11 years in jail, a 5 yr Critical Crime Prevention Order, and positioned on the Intercourse Offenders’ Register for 10 years.
Essex Police stated 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 handle at Hedingham Highway in Chafford Hundred, Essex, was raided by officers from the pressure’s Cyber Crime Unit on 19 March final yr after a number of victims, aged between 16 and 25, made experiences.
“He focused with no regret purporting to be a pal on social media after hacking accounts, then as soon as he acquired entry to their intimate footage he would try to blackmail them round disclosure of the photographs to family and friends demanding extra pictures and movies of his personal selection placing the victims by way of an ordeal inflicting excessive misery and embarrassment,” stated Detective Sergeant Ian Collins, from the Essex Police Cyber Crime Unit.
“Since his remand and now this sentence we have now managed to cease this vile offender from concentrating on extra victims. It is a wakeup name for anybody committing any such crime: we’ll catch you and convey you to justice, and you’ll go to jail for the misery triggered to the victims,” he stated.
The detective additionally urged social media customers to not retailer intimate pictures of themselves and to safe and shield their information.
“Don’t share passwords even in case you assume it’s a trusted pal that asks you for them, it may not be,” he stated.