Three men jailed for a total of 26 years for conspiracy to blackmail
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Three men have been jailed for conspiracy to blackmail after a man was threatened at gunpoint to hand over £250,000.
Adil Arslan Ahmed, 32, of Fir Drive in Blackwater, and Bhupander Gil, 42, of Nightjar Road in Bordon, were sentenced to nine years in prison.
John Dean Molloy, 39, of John Russell Close in Guildford, received an eight year sentence.
They were sentenced at Winchester Crown Court yesterday, 11 July, after being convicted by a jury at the same court on 10 July following a five week trial.
Benjamin Luke Walkington, 26, of Poppy Road in Ash, Guildford, was also found guilty of conspiracy to blackmail and will be sentenced at Winchester Crown Court on 1 September.
A fifth man was acquitted at the end of the trial.
The court heard how Ahmed and Gil orchestrated a scenario to threaten the victim into handing over £250,000.
On 19 February 2020, Ahmed contacted the victim and arranged a meeting with a fictitious friend about money the victim had given Ahmed previously.
The following day, 20 February, the victim travelled to Guildford to meet Ahmed before travelling to Normandy, Surrey, together to wait for the meet which was to happen in a church car park.
At around 5.30pm, a dark Range Rover arrived with two men wearing balaclavas in the front. The victim was threatened with a firearm and told to get in the car along with Ahmed.
The two, one of which was John Molloy, then demand £250,000 within 24 hours or he will kill them both.
Fearing for his life, the victim pays the money on agreement that Ahmed will pay him back. For several months, the victim tries to reclaim his money but is unsuccessful.
On 6 July 2020, the victim called police to report an ongoing threat against his life after receiving a phone-call from a third party to say he will not be getting his money and made threats to the victim’s family.
After arrest, a search of Ahmed’s property located bank wrappers consistent with those used by the victim.
Analysis of phone data put the defendants in contact with each other prior to the offence, and was able to place Ahmed, Malloy, and Walkington in Normandy when the blackmail took place.
Officers also retrieved photographic evidence from one of the handsets showing bundles of cash in a hotel room, and Google Maps searches for “church car park Normandy.”
A dark Range Rover matching the description given by the victim was also recovered at Molloy’s address.
Detective Sergeant Paul Jarrett said: “These men planned and executed this blackmail motivated entirely by greed.
“The victim in this case has been significantly impacted and I would like to commend their courage in coming forward and helping us get this case through court.
“This was a complex investigation, and I hope that these results show that we do not tolerate this kind of offending and will work relentlessly to bring offenders to justice.”
Blackmail and fraud can leave people feeling incredibly vulnerable and intimidated. Our advice to anyone being blackmailed is to call the police immediately. Do not delete any correspondence, do not pay up, and do not communicate further with the offenders.
We also encourage people to visit the fraud page on our website where you can read all about personal and online fraud, including dating fraud, and learn how to spot the signs of a scam: https://www.hampshire.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/fa/fraud/