Extortionist threatened to poison Albert Heijn shoppers in dark web bitcoin scam: Court
The court in Nordic-Holland on Friday sentenced a 23-year-old man to 2 yrs in prison, one of which conditionally suspended, for attempting to extort Albert Heijn’s parent company Ahold by threatening to poison the supermarket chain’s customers. The man will also be on probation for three years, the courtroom said in a ruling issued Friday.
Since November 2016, Ahold received multiple email messages stating that products in Albert Heijn shoppers would be poisoned if the company does not pay a large number of bitcoins to the sender. Packages with toxic substances were sent to Ahold but intercepted before any damage could be done, was exposed in the courtroom. Ahold didn’t pay the perpetrator, and Albert Heijn customers weren’t affected at all.
The investigation led to the authorities to the then 20-year-old suspect. The police found that he had been active on the dark web for some time, where he was selling electronics templates and a manual written by himself on how to print counterfeit money. Undercover officers were able to purchase two such templates from him.
The defended told the courtroom that he was threatened into performing certain acts by another person, but that he had nothing to do with the attempts to extort Ahold. The courtroom did not find this credible.
He was found out not guilty of trying to scam Apple into sending him a laptop, by using the Apple account and associated credit card of someone else. Based on the courtroom, there is not enough evidence to prove this fact.
The Public Prosecutor had demanded four years in prison against the suspect. The courtroom gave him a lower sentence taking into account that he was acquitted of the Apple scam, he was only twenty years of age when he committed the offenses and had a clean criminal record up to this case, and the fact that this case had taken over three years to conclude.