There is always a dispute whether bitcoin can be considered a full-value currency. Well, last events in the Netherlands show that it actually can but in a very interesting manner! The police there informed about criminals who demand a ransom in bitcoin. Dollars and euro seem to be old-fashioned for crimes.
The criminals chose Jumbo supermarket chain as a target and their scenario was moving the following way. It all started in May 2015 when someone left explosives in a supermarket in Groningen. That went off all right at that time thanks to a casual customer who found the explosive and informed the police. It could be thought to be a single case at that time so it wasn’t widely covered in mass media.
The ground for serious disturbance appeared three weeks later. The second bomb wasn’t found in time and exploded. Fortunately no one was injured. The explosion only damaged a window and a door. The police investigated the case, got a footage of supposed criminal but no one was arrested.
Motives of crime became clear on June 5. Jumbo got a strange letter. Perpetrator demanded a ransom in bitcoin saying that attacks will go on until he gets a necessary sum. Investigators found out that the letter was written using Microsoft Notepad and sent from North- or East Netherlands.
Further events confirmed that the threat wasn’t empty. On June 6 the police got informed about an explosive planted at the Jumbo Euroborg in Groningen. Customers and employees were evacuated but after a thorough search no bomb was found. Although criminals departed from the habitual plan, next days brought another “surprise”.
On July 1 a birthday card was sent to the supermarket on Veemartkt in the center of Zwolle. It contained a small amount of explosive powder. This letter was also posted from North- or East Netherlands which hit the police upon the idea that it was perpetrated by the same person or a group of people.
Repeating threats made Jumbo management and the police apply extra measures to provide security at supermarkets. All 579 stores are now monitored with increased attention. So far there have been no victims, the only damage was done to the property.
The only information the police provides is that the criminal seems to be a man between 20 and 40 years old who supposedly lives in Groningen.
Now the police call the Dutch for cooperation. Rob Vos who is in charge of investigation says: “We have a lot of the pieces of this puzzle but a seemingly unimportant detail from a citizen could be the final piece that completes the puzzle.”