Ilyas covertly set up a hidden camera
A blackmail gang has been jailed for attempting to extort tens of thousands of pounds from two married men after having sex with them.
The victims were a man from Manchester and another from Burnley, both of whom were married to women.
Sarah Haque, prosecuting, said the Manchester-based victim was a married father and came from “an ethnic community where homosexuality is not permitted”.
He worked until the early hours of the morning and had used male escort websites named ‘Sleepy Boy’ and ‘Manchester Lads’ to arrange secret liaisons.
In October 2020, he arranged to meet with Kamar Ilyas who was on one of the websites under the name Daniele Khan.
Aman Khan had booked a room at the Britannia Hotel for them.
Ms Haque said the victim and Ilyas chatted for a while before having sex, for which the victim paid £120 in cash.
A week later, Ilyas contacted the victim, asking to meet up again.
Ilyas’ frequent requests gave the victim “a bad feeling” after another experience in which an escort tried to ask him for money.
Ilyas reassured him that he was only contacting him “because he was such a nice client and he wanted to meet again”.
He convinced the victim to meet up with him again by gifting him flowers and chocolates.
At a hotel, Ilyas covertly set up a hidden camera and ensured that he and the victim were photographed arriving together by Khan, who was parked nearby.
The pair had sex again, with Ilyas encouraging the victim to speak about why he was nervous about meeting up.
They left around 1:15 am and the victim returned to work.
Ms Haque said: “The victim sent a message saying ‘thank you and safe travels’, a reference referred to Ilyas saying he was travelling to Oxford and saying he was a nurse who worked there.”
An hour later, a response read: “No. Thank you, you dirty old married man. You’re gonna regret this.”
This was followed by a video of the two having sex and a warning that the encounter had been recorded and would be posted on social media and sent to his wife.
The victim was ordered to pay £25,000 but he said that it was not possible.
He was then bombarded with calls and messages from various numbers. Calls were also made to his wife and his business. More videos were also sent to him as proof that more of the encounter had been secretly recorded.
Khan also sent a photo of the victim’s car outside his workplace.
The man called the police and they pursued the VW Golf being driven by Khan but he got away.
Whilst giving a police statement, the victim received a call from Ilyas.
In a partially recorded conversation, Ilyas claimed he had been pressured into being involved in the plot and was scared himself. He agreed to attend a police station and give his own statement but never did.
But the hotel booking linked back to Khan and police visited his home.
When interviewed, Khan admitted booking the room but claimed to have no knowledge of a blackmail plot.
A phone number mentioned by Khan led police to Ilyas who initially claimed another escort must have sent the footage but later admitted his role and claimed he had done so because he was under pressure from drug dealers.
In relation to the second case, the married man from Burnley also came from a community where homosexuality was unaccepted and used Grindr to meet men.
Under a different name, Ilyas convinced the man to meet him.
He arranged for the married man to come to Khan’s house where they chatted for a while and the victim confided about his life, family and career before they moved to the bedroom.
While in bed, a loud bang hit the door and Khalil Chaudhry and Khan stormed in holding phones.
Ms Haque continued: “Chaudhry pulled the covers off the bed.
“Ilyas pretended to be shocked, apologising to his uncles as he pretended they were.
“Khan told the victim that Ilyas was only 15-year-old and asked him what he was doing.”
“Although he looked younger, it was quite clear he could not pass for a 15-year-old child.
“The victim tried to get up but he was pushed back to the bed. He asked Chaudhry to be reasonable and even tried to protect Ilyas.”
The victim was not allowed to move or dress. He later said he felt “scared to death but continued to try to be reasonable with the men”.
Khan picked up the victim’s driving licence from his wallet which was filmed to use as a reveal and evidence on the video.
They threatened to call the police over the false paedophilia claims.
At one stage, Chaudhry did call 999 but it was treated as a hoax call as it was disconnected.
After allowing the victim to get dressed, the gang took him to a car and drove around for three hours.
They threatened to visit his home, driving near the property. However, they turned around and headed towards Blackburn.
The gang then demanded £40,000 to be paid in a matter of days.
The man was later bombarded with threats, during which the victim was “petrified for himself and the consequences and also his family given the aggression of the man, how long they kept him and the fact they clearly knew where he lived”.
He tried to convince the men to stop pursuing him and sought advice from a solicitor as well as making an anonymous call to the police.
But he felt unable to give his name and continued to try and deal with it himself.
Matters escalated when a photograph was sent of his home, scaring the victim.
He rushed home from work and told his wife what was going on and she called the police.
Khan and Ilyas had been arrested in connection with the Manchester blackmail and were remanded in custody.
They pleaded guilty to the offences. Chaudhry denied the offences until the first day of his trial.
Defending Ilyas, Mohammed Qazi said his client was a married father-of-one and was pressured into being involved and had not used any violence or actually received any money.
Douglas Stewart, defending Khan, admitted it was difficult to mitigate against such a serious but pointed out a lack of previous convictions.
Barry Grennan, defending Chaudhry, said his client is married and has a 20-month-old daughter.
Kamar Ilyas, aged 34, of Nelson, Lancashire, was jailed for six years and three months.
Aman Khan, aged 33, of Nelson, was jailed for six years.
Khalil Chaudhry, aged 29, of Burnley, was jailed for five years and eight months.