Man who Sent a Letter Bomb to a Bitcoin firm Sentenced to 6 Years in Prison

Man who Sent a Letter Bomb to a Bitcoin firm Sentenced to 6 Years in Prison

A Swedish man is set to spend the next six and a half years behind bars after he was found guilty of attempted murder on account of sending a letter bomb to a London based bitcoin firm. The police believe that the man sent the bomb to two employees of the bitcoin firm as a reaction to the firm’s failure to change his password. In addition to attempted murder, the man was convicted of sending threating letters to Swedish legislators.

43-year-old Jermu Michael Salonen from Gullspang, Sweden sent an email to Cryptopay, a London based bitcoin firm, in August 2017 and demanded that they send him a new password. The firm did not comply with his demand and told him that his request went against the firm’s privacy policy. Salonen did not take the firm’s response lightly, and he decided to retaliate by sending a letter bomb to the firm.

Salonen mailed the bomb in a sealed envelope in August 2017 and addressed it to two Cyrptopay employees. The letter bomb was delivered to a Hackney office that was used by Cryptopay’s accounting firm. The letter remained unattended for several months until one of the workers in the office decided to open it on the 8th of March 2018. Fortunately, the worker grew suspicious of the envelope’s content and stopped opening it. The firm then informed the police who took care of the bomb and initiated investigations into the matter.

The police recovered DNA material that forensic experts used to look for a match in the UK’s database. The DNA did not have a match when compared to data from the United Kingdom. The UK police decide to contact Interpol who helped match the DNA to Salonen with the help of Swedish authorities. The DNA match contributed a lot to the arrest of Salonen in May. Salonen was consequently charged with attempted murder and 20 counts of issuing threats to politicians.

According to Commander Clarke Jarrett of the Met Police Counter Terrorism Command, it was by ‘sheer luck’ that the worker who tried to open the letter did not open it through the envelope flap that was supposed to activate the bomb but instead opened it through the middle. The commander also added that a search into Salonen’s house after the arrest led to the recovery of bomb-making materials.

A Cryptopay spokesman expressed his gratitude to the UK and Swedish Police who worked together during the investigation that led to the arrest and subsequent conviction of Salonen. The Spokesman also made it known that none of the firm’s employees worked at the address to which Salonen had addressed the bomb, he, however, indicated that Cryptopay had put in place measures to ensure all its employees are protected from such occurrences in the future.

The Stockholm District Court found Salonen guilty of all charges filed against him and sentenced him to 6 years in prison for the attempted murder charge and another six months for sending threatening letters to the Swedish legislators.

Salonen’s sentencing came days after a teenage boy from India threatened to blow up Miami Airport after he lost his bitcoins to an American fraudster. According to reports, the 18-year-old high schooler acquired $1,000 from his father and decided to invest in bitcoin. The teen invested wisely and made huge profits within the first five months after which he came into contact with an American in an online forum. The American promised to help the teen make more money if the boy gave him all his bitcoin. The boy trusted the fraudster and sent him all his bitcoin after which the fraudster broke contact with the teen.

On learning that he had been defrauded, the teen acquired the FBI’S contact information online and called them over 50 times in October alone seeking the agency’s help in recovering his lost bitcoin. On seeing that the agency was not willing to help him regain his lost bitcoins, he decided to make a threat hoping it would make them reconsider their position. The teen threatened to attack the Miami Airport armed with an AK-47 assault Rifle, grenades, and a suicide belt.

The teen’s threat caught the FBI’s attention who sought help from Indian authorities leading to the arrest of the teen whose name remains undisclosed. According to the local police the teen was charged under the Indian Penal Code and IT Act.

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