January 2021

Thurrock Snapchat hacker who blackmailed 574 females across the world is jailed

A Thurrock man who targeted almost 600 females on Snapchat over the course of five years has been jailed for 11 years.

Akash Sondhi, 27 targeted 574 victims from across the globe – including the UK, Australia, Hong Kong, Romania and beyond. Some of his victims have still not been traced. 

Between 2015 and 2020, Sondhi would hack into the Snapchat accounts of teenage girls and young women, aged between 16 and 25, and blackmail them into sending him intimate images, or he threatened to expose existing images to their friends and family in their phone contacts.

His address in Hedingham Road, Chafford Hundred, was raided by officers from Essex Police’s Cyber Crime Unit on March 19 last year when several victims came forward.

A number of victims have since been identified and have been supported by the Cyber team.

Sondhi admitted a total of 65 offences – including hacking, blackmail, and voyeurism – and at Basildon Crown Court today (Tuesday January 5) was sentenced to 11 years in prison, a five-year Serious Crime Prevention Order, and placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register for 10 years.