A former TikTok fashion influencer and her mother have been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of two men in the UK. Mahek Bukhari, 24, who was once a minor celebrity on TikTok with 120,000 followers, and her mother, Ansreen Bukhari, were convicted of killing Saqib Hussain and Mohammed Hashim Ijazuddin, both 21, in February last year. The motive for the murders was an alleged extortion attempt.
In addition to the mother-daughter duo, several male accomplices were involved in the crime. The group pursued the victims in a high-speed car chase, which tragically ended in a fiery crash. Two men who participated in the double murder were also sentenced to life in prison, with minimum terms of 31 years and eight months for Mahek Bukhari and 26 years and nine months for Ansreen Bukhari. Three other men received 14-year terms for manslaughter.
The sentences handed down, particularly the whole life sentences, are considered rare in the UK. Most murderers in the country serve between 15 and 20 years behind bars. However, the severity of the crime and the court’s determination to ensure justice resulted in these lengthy prison terms.
The judge presiding over the case, Timothy Spencer, highlighted the role of social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram in the events leading up to the murders. He stated that TikTok and Instagram were at the heart of the case and claimed that Mahek Bukhari’s involvement in these platforms caused her to drop out of university. He added that if she had not done so, she would have graduated and had her whole life ahead of her.
According to the judge, Ansreen Bukhari’s “head was turned” by the perceived glamour of her daughter’s social media world. Her desire to emulate her daughter’s lifestyle led her to have an extramarital affair with Saqib Hussain. However, when Hussain attempted to end the relationship, he allegedly threatened to expose sexually explicit photos and videos of Ansreen to her husband unless she repaid him £3,000 ($3,778) that he claimed to have spent on their dates.
In an attempt to resolve the extortion situation, Mahek agreed to meet Saqib Hussain in a parking lot in Leicester, promising to hand over the money he was demanding from her mother. Mohammed Hashim Ijazuddin drove Hussain to the meeting, unaware that the Bukharis had prepared an ambush. The mother, daughter, and their male accomplices pursued the victims in two separate cars.
During the car chase, Ijazuddin made a desperate call to the police, begging for help as the attackers tried to ram them off the road. The call ended abruptly with a scream and the sound of a crash. The vehicle carrying Hussain and Ijazuddin collided with a tree and immediately burst into flames. Witnesses at the scene described the car as virtually split in two.
The tragic events that unfolded highlight the dark side of social media and the dangers that can arise from idolizing influencers and chasing perceived fame and success. The court’s sentencing reflects the gravity of the crime committed and ensures that the perpetrators face severe consequences for their actions.