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Zain Qaiser: Hacker who blackmailed porn viewers is told to sell Rolex and repay £270k

By Sky News

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Zain Qaiser, 25, is being forced to repay hundreds of thousands of pounds

(SKY NEWS) – A hacker from Essex who was jailed after making millions of pounds blackmailing people who visited pornography websites has been forced to pay back over £270,000 – and sell his Rolex to cover the costs.

Zain Qaiser, 25, was handed a six-year sentence in April after admitting being part of a Russian-speaking cyber crime group.

Their victims were spread across more than 20 countries.

Qaiser splashed his ill-gotten cash on stays in high-end hotels, prostitutes, gambling, drugs and luxury items including a £5,000 Rolex watch.

The former computer science student used advertising spaces on legal pornography sites to infect victims’ devices with malware.

The malware showed users a screen impersonating the police services in their countries, demanding they pay a fine of between $300 and $1,000 (£227 and £760).

The National Crime Agency (NCA) described it as the most serious case of cyber crime it has ever investigated.

Qaiser has now been ordered to hand over £270,864.47, based on an assessment of his available assets.

He must sell his Rolex, which is currently being held by the NCA, to make part of the repayment, the confiscation hearing in Kingston Crown Court heard last week.

If he fails to pay back the money within three months, a further two years in prison will be added to his sentence and he will remain liable for the money.

Qaiser was first arrested in July 2014 and was charged in February 2017.

An earlier trial after Qaiser was first charged in 2017 was abandoned as the hacker was sectioned under the Mental Health Act.

However, the court heard that, while he was detained, the wifi at Goodmayes Hospital in north London was used to access the advertising websites which Qaiser had used for his offending.

He was arrested in December 2018 for laundering £120,000 while on bail.

In 2018, Qaiser admitted 11 offences, including blackmail, fraud, money laundering and computer misuse.

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