Man filmed himself having sex with Muslim women before blackmailing them, court hears
An Asian man secretly filmed himself having sex with Muslim women he had met on an online dating website and blackmailed them into giving him money by threatening to put the footage on the internet, a court heard.
"Sexual predator" Farhan Mirza, 38, is accused of targeting three women, secretly filming them and then threatening to bring shame upon them and their families by publishing the videos unless they gave him money and gifts.
Cardiff Crown Court heard that Mirza is accused of voyeurism, blackmail, theft and fraud - including pretending to be a doctor - in order to commit a string of offences over a three-year period.
The jury of four men and eight women watched a series of video clips, which included one woman having sex with the defendant and another alleged victim getting dressed after having had a shower.
Timothy Evans, prosecuting, told the jury told that the case was very sensitive and the three alleged victims, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, were Muslim women with connections to other countries.
"It is the prosecution's case that Mr Mirza is a particular kind of sexual predator and he chooses his victims carefully," he said.
"Each of these ladies, to a greater or lesser extent, ended up having a relationship with Mr Mirza. The prosecution suggest that via those relationships he tried to get money and services from them.
"The position, the prosecution suggest, is this. Because of their religious and ethnic backgrounds he targeted them because of the terror, embarrassment and humiliation that each of these ladies would have felt in their minds by what this defendant did to them.
"He put each of them in a position where there were videos of them, which they didn't know about until he landed them with potential humiliation.
"It is one thing to persuade a partner to help you out or beg. It is reprehensible generally to lie to a partner to achieve something and what the prosecution suggests is that Mr Mirza went further than that."
Mirza, of Arael View, Abertillery, South Wales denies four charges of blackmail, three of voyeurism, one of theft and one of fraud by false representation.
The trial continues.
Mr Evans explained that blackmail was to make an "unwarranted demand with menaces".
He said the first complainant was threatened with video footage being disclosed unless she gave him money.
Mirza told police the films had been recorded with the woman's consent and she was "up for it".
"The prosecution case is that as well as using the videos for the purposes of blackmail he also gained sexual gratification from it by looking at it," Mr Evans said.
Mirza is accused of demanding £5,000, then £20,000 from her, which she refused but she would often buy his shopping and pay for meals in expensive restaurants.
The following year he asked her for £2,000 and he was given up to £300.
In February 2013 she gave him £1,500 towards college fees.
"In July 2013 the defendant revealed to her that he had in fact taken videos of them together engaging in sex," Mr Evans said.
The court heard the woman, who met Mirza through a family member, did not know whether he was telling the truth and she searched his laptop and found videos of other women.
"To her horror she saw a video of them having sex together," he said.
She also found copies of her passport, identity card and visa on the laptop and after going to his house found £70,000 cash hidden in his wardrobe.
The woman confronted Mirza and he said he kept the video clips to blackmail women for money.
In August he is alleged to have demanded £500 from her, and £2,000 the following October.
In February 2014 Mirza is accused of stealing a Sony laptop, handbag and jewellery from her.
"Throughout 2014 Mr Mirza continued to contact her and make further demands from her and if she didn't give in he would send the video to her relatives," Mr Evans said.
The woman went to the police and investigations led to the other two complainants.
Mirza is accused of fraud by false representation by claiming to the third complainant that he was a qualified doctor, as was his father.
"The prosecution suggests these were particular lies he was portraying to her, some face to face, others on a Muslim dating website shaadi.com and she was completely taken in and believed he was a doctor," Mr Evans said.
"The prosecution case is that this was part of a series of conduct to get close to women to extort as much money from them as possible."
It is claimed Mirza - a taxi driver who lives in a small terrace house - told the second complainant, who he met on Shaadi.com, he was a doctor, would marry her and would buy her a £25,000 diamond ring.
"He asked for £4,000 to buy a motorbike as a present from her to him," Mr Evans said.
"She transferred £3,500, believing what he was saying, under pressure because he was constantly nagging and she believed he was a doctor and the proposal of marriage."
It is claimed that he offered to examine her intimately to help her with a medical problem and allegedly threatened to "make her famous" by showing her work colleagues secretly recorded videos of her.
They split at the beginning of 2014, the court heard.
Mirza is accused of meeting the third complainant on the Shaadi.com website in March 2014.
"He was falsely claiming to be a doctor and she entered into a sexual relationship with him," Mr Evans said.
"Still convinced he was a doctor with a wealthy background and she believed they had a future together.
"That facade dropped and she ended it and she looked him up on the internet and discovered he had been previously married," he added.
He contacted her again in 2015 saying his bank account had been frozen and "begging her for money" and "if she loved him she would help him".
Judge Tom Crowther QC adjourned the trial until Wednesday.