The first episode of the three-part series will focus on the case of Mahek Bukhari – the UK-based TikTok star and convicted killer who was imprisoned last year for “setting a trap” to murder her mother’s 21-year-old lover.
The case first made headlines two years ago, when police arrested the TikTok influencer from Stoke-on-Trent and her mother, Ansreen Bukhari, for the double murders of Saqib Hussain and his friend Mohammed Hashim Ijazuddin.
Mahek was well on her way to social media stardom before she was implicated in the murders. Then 22, Mahek had over 120,000 followers on TikTok, 45,000 on Instagram, and nearly 4,000 YouTube subscribers – all tuning in for her short, snappy videos about fashion and beauty advice. In addition to lifestyle content, she also routinely posted TikToks of her and Ansreen dancing together at their family home.
However, their “elite relationship” would reveal itself as something much more sinister than anyone could imagine, after a judge found both them guilty for murdering Hussain and Ijazuddin in a high-speed car chase over a plot to blackmail Ansreen.
A tangled web of ‘love, obsession, extortion and murder’
At a hearing last year, sordid details about how – and why – the mother-daughter duo set a deadly trap for the two 21-year-olds. During the trial, it emerged Ansreen had begun a relationship with Hussain, then only 18, that only Mahek knew about. The court heard how Hussain became obsessed with Ansreen and could not accept her decision to end the affair. When he threatened to send nude photos and sex tapes taken during their relationship to Ansreen’s husband Raza Ali, Mahek – who posted on TikTok under the name of Maya – put in place a plan to silence her mother’s jilted former lover.
Prosecutors said Hussain was “lured” into meeting with the Bukharis on the pretence that they wanted to return the £3,000 he claimed he spent on wooing Ansreen during their relationship.
Ijazuddin had agreed to drive his friend Hussain to the arranged meeting at a Tesco car park, where Mahek, Ansreen, and six others (including Mahek’s TikTok followers) were waiting to ambush them. The two men quickly became suspicious and drove off without getting out of their Skoda Fabia, but were pursued by a Seat Leon and an Audi TT and eventually rammed off the road.
In a chilling 999 call shortly after the abandoned meeting, Hussain can be heard saying: “They hit into the back of the car very fast. They’re trying to ram us off the road. Please, I’m begging you, I think I’m going to die, I think I’m going to die.”
On the morning of 11 February 2022, Ijazuddin and Hussain were both found dead in a burning car on the A46 in Leicestershire.
Following a three-month trial, Mahek was sentenced to life in prison alongside Ansreen, who must serve a minimum of 26 years and nine months, after she was found guilty of “cold-blooded murder”.
At the sentencing, Judge Timothy Spencer KC said Bukhari’s “tawdry fame” as a social media influencer had made her “utterly self-obsessed, with a wholly unjustified sense of entitlement, and no apparent awareness of the impact you have on others, oblivious to the damage you do”.
He added: “The prosecution were right to categorise this case as cold-blooded murder.”
Before being taken away, Mahek was seen blowing a kiss to her father who was present at the sentencing hearing.
What happened to Raza Ali?
Very little is known about Ali or his current location.
Prior to the trial, it is believed he used to work as a security officer for different businesses.
During the murder trial that gripped the nation, Raza’s name was brought up by Ansreen when she explained why she had failed to mention her relationship with Saqib after being charged with the murders. She said she was “scared of wrecking [her] marriage” to Raza. She also told her barrister Patrick Upward KC Raza did not visit her in jail for 10 months after she was arrested at their family home.
The murder trial was also told Ali had “no idea about his wife’s affair” with Hussain until after she and Mahek were arrested.
The first episode of TikTok: Murder Gone Viral will air on ITV1 on Tuesday (30 Jan) at 9pm.