A paedophile who coerced scores of adults and minors into capturing sick child abuse footage and images has admitted to more than a hundred offences. Child exploitation investigators said they were “horrified” by the acts committed by the monster.
Abdul Elahi, 26, ran his child abuse empire by posing as a “sugar daddy” to lure vulnerable people online, Birmingham Crown Court was told on Monday. He confessed to 157 charges, against 79 people. Elahi’s female adult victims number more than 500. An 8-month old baby was among those who suffered through his evil exploitation.
Elahi from Sparkhill in Birmingham used fake names to meet people online and offered cash for pictures. He would then blackmail the people he had lured into sending even more depraved images and video clips, including footage of children abusing and mutilating one another. Sometimes the other children would be their own siblings.
In his endeavours, Elahi recruited other adults to film themselves abusing young ones. One of these people was Kirsty Nicholls, 35 from Northolt London. Nicholls met Elahi on a sugar daddy website. Both of them admitted to the same two charges of taking indecent images.
Elahi’s vile content collection racket spread across the globe, reaching as far as Australia, Canada and the United States. He collected more than 67,0000 indecent images which he shared as “box sets” with paedos worldwide.
The National Crime Agency collaborated with the FBI and other law enforcement agencies in its investigation. Elahi was arrested by the NCA late in 2018, but damningly, was released on bail, enabling him to carry on preying on children.
Eventually, after his electronic devices were seized and forensically examined, Elahi’s “industrial scale” of collecting child pornography was uncovered. The offences he admitted to began in early 2017, carrying on until August of last year. He and Nicholls will be sentenced in September.
Tony Cook, the NCA’s head of child sexual abuse and exploitation (CSA) operations said: “The investigation team have been horrified by Elahi’s sadistic depravity and stunned by the industrial scale of his worldwide offending.
“Elahi sought sexual gratification from having power and control of his victims and he’s displayed zero empathy for them. He often goaded them to the point of wanting to kill themselves. The effects on the victims, in this case, will continue throughout the rest of their lives.
Cook commended the countless victims for their bravery and added that the “investigation has sparked a series of other inquiries into Elahi’s associates and there is ongoing work to bring others to justice. We thank our international partners especially the FBI for the support given to us on this case.”
Prosecutor Sarah Ingram said: “The crimes that Elahi committed worldwide were horrifying and sadistic. He coerced vulnerable children and women to engage in sexual activity and then blackmailed them for his own gain.
“The extent of the offences is almost unheard of. This level of depravity is shocking and will impact the victims for their whole lives. I commend the victims for their bravery and urge anyone who has been abused online to report it so that justice can be served, whether the crimes were committed in England or abroad.”