Man admits £8m blackmail plot

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A driving instructor pleaded guilty today to attempting to blackmail a Pakistani oil and gas giant out of nearly £8 million.

Nusrat Hussain, 38, of Blackburn, Lancashire, is said to have used email and telephone threats against the company.

He threatened to use his alleged influence with senior figures in the Pakistan government to drive Dewan Petroleum out of business if it did not pay up one billion Pakistani rupees. No money was handed over.

Hussain was set to go on trial at Preston Crown Court but changed his plea to guilty today.

He admitted making a series of unwarranted demands for money with menaces between February 2 and May 11 last year.

His barrister, Ahmed Nadim, requested the preparation of psychological reports ahead of sentencing.

He said his client was "a man of previous good character with a timid and fragile personality".

Judge Stuart Baker adjourned sentencing until August 8, Hussain, of Worston Place, who has lived in Blackburn for the past 12 years, was released on conditional bail..