As part of a Bitcoin extortion scheme, Dutch police respond to a series of letter bombs sent to offices across the country. A letter bomb hit an ING Bank office in Amsterdam on Thursday, causing a small explosion, while just hours earlier, authorities disarmed one sent to a US technology company Unisys office in the vicinity of Utrecht.
The incidents followed the explosion of two letter bombs on Wednesday, one at the Amsterdam mail-sorting office of ABN Amro bank, and another in the Japanese electronics company Ricoh’s Kerkide mailroom, near the border with Germany.
January’s Letter Bombs Related to Bitcoin Extortion Plot
Officials said packages from Wednesday hadn’t been numbered similarly. They advised mail recipients to be vigilant with thick white envelopes sent with two stamps, and have a written piece of white paper attached with the plastic delivery and return addresses.
The moving police hypothesis not only links the explosives to each other but also to a similar campaign that in January targeted businesses across the Netherlands. Reportedly the person sending them is making ransom demands for undisclosed sums of cryptocurrency Bitcoin (BTC).
Just what the Bitcoin extortionist requests has yet to be revealed in their ransom note, but they seem to threaten to continue sending letter bombs until they obtain payment.
There seems to be no clear line connecting the bomber objectives either. Although two banks have reportedly been targeted this week, incidents in January included letter bombs sent to a real estate agent, a car dealer, a gas station, and two hotels, but none of them actually exploded.
In fact, the letters from this week are the first to actually go off, after all the other shipments were successfully intercepted in time by police. Reportedly, Wednesday’s explosives were only the size of small explosions, and would inflict non-fatal injuries to anyone who could handle them.
A third suspicious package was also found Wednesday at an ABN Amro branch in Maastricht. The New York Times reported an employee was calling police after they came across a “weird-looking” parcel, but all it contained was a non-threatening mouse.