A recent string of letter bombs in the Netherlands has now taken a crypto twist. Specifically, the unknown mail-bomber is demanding Bitcoin in order to seize the attacks. Moreover, this bizarre extortion scheme is eerily similar to a previous Dutch crypto bomb scheme from 2015.
Dutch letter bomber requests Bitcoin payment
This story first broke on February 12th, when a letter bomb went off in a postal sorting facility in Amsterdam. The sorting office is part of ABN Amro, a large Dutch bank, and the package went off at roughly 8 am local time.
Perhaps most interestingly, the mail bomb also came with a letter demanding payment in Bitcoin. Thankfully, no one was hurt during the incident. According to a spokesperson for ABN Amro, Geert van der Varst, the employee handling the package threw it away just before the explosion took place.
“The colleague who was sorting the mail heard a hissing sound, and threw the package away.”
Two letter bombs went off within an hour
Although this is dramatic all on its own, another mail bomb went off less than an hour later. This package was sent to the Dutch town of Kerkrade, to an office of the Japanese electronics firm Ricoh. Moreover, this second package also came with a letter demanding payment in Bitcoin.
Local police is already drawing connections between the two bizarre mail bomb incidents. A spokesperson for the Amsterdam police, Lex van Liebergen, did not want to disclose the sum the bomber is seeking. However, she did say that the police assume the same person is behind both bombs:
“It’s fair to say that all of these are connected because the same demand was made. But we still don’t know who sent it. We are still investigating.”
These letter bombs come as the latest in a string of mail bombs in the Netherlands. The bomber or bombers appear to send the explosives to businesses of varying types. Moreover, it is unclear whether earlier letter bombs also came with Bitcoin demands. What is known, however, is that these two latest letter bombs are the first to detonate.
Dutch letter bombers often demand Bitcoin payment
Nevertheless, this is not the first time the Netherlands sees a mail bomber seeking Bitcoin payment. Back in 2015, a 58-year-old man sent numerous letter bombs to Jumbo locations, a Dutch supermarket chain.
Police eventually caught the man using DNA evidence, so this new string of letter bombs is unlikely to originate with the “Jumbo bomber”. With that said, however, it is notable that mail bombers in the Netherlands request payment in cryptocurrencies.
Although the narrative that “only criminals” use Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is entirely erroneous, it does happen sometimes. Moreover, this is only natural.
Criminals that understand the advantages and prefer crypto over fiat currencies will naturally demand payment in crypto. This is why it is important for crypto firms to educate police regarding Bitcoin and blockchain crime.
Rasmus Pihl is a writer for Toshi Times by day and an avid follower of the blockchain industry by night. Rasmus holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from the Gothenburg School of Business, Economics, and Law and runs a Swedish marketing consulting firm. Moreover, when he isn’t writing for Toshi Times, traveling, working or changing the world in some other capacity, Rasmus is more than likely caught up in postgraduate studies.