Swedish Man Sentenced For Mailing Bomb To Cryptopay Offices Over Account Issues
A Swedish man is to serve time in prison after a court found him guilty in a charge relating to attempted murder after he sent a mail bomb to a London-based Bitcoin firm.
Detectives at London’s Metropolitan Police Service said that Jermu Michael Salonen, 43, had sent the bomb to Cryptopay, ostensibly after the Hackney-based firm refused his request to have his password changed.
That apparently got a disgruntled Salonen into planning the bomb attack, which as local police reported, was ‘viable’ and capable of real harm.
The 43-year-old’s impudent move over a ‘password’ was shocking. According to Commander Clarke Jarrett of Met Police’s Service Counter Terrorism unit, Salonen’s explosive device could “seriously harm and even kill.”
It would have been a potentially catastrophic turn of events, given it arose out of an “inconsequential” matter regarding the resetting of a password.
Employee ‘lucky’ with the bomb
Bookkeeping firm the Accountancy Cloud, which at one time provided services to bitcoin firm Cryptopay, said that it received the potentially fatal package in November 2017.
In March this year, one of the company’s employees opened the padded envelope and could have suffered serious harm, or even death had the bomb exploded.
However, luckily for the employee, he and others became suspicious of the envelope’s contents and had to stop in order to alert authorities, thus averting definite harm.
Furthermore, it is likely the employee’s unorthodox way of opening the envelope played a role in preventing the intended explosion. Met Police’s Jarrett said that:
“It was due to sheer luck that the recipient ripped opened the package in the middle rather than using the envelope flap which would have activated the device.”
Interpol uses DNA to trace the attacker
Met Police was able to obtain DNA samples from the package, though they ended up a blind alley when it turned out the samples did not match anyone on the police database.
Interpol got involved, finally matching the traces to the suspect who, as it turned out, was also known to Swedish authorities.
Salonen’s arrest in May this year came after a search at his home in Gullspang unearthed bomb-making components.
A Swedish judge found him guilty on charges of attempted murder and sentenced him to a jail term of six years.
In addition to the six-year sentence, Salonen was also sentenced to a further six months because he issued death threats to a number of high profile Swedish people, including the country’s Prime Minister Stefan Löfven.
Following the bomb scare, Cryptopay posted a tweet that users could quickly change their password terming it easier than a ‘bomb.’
Similar threats in recent times
An Indian teenager was recently charged for making threatening phone calls to Miami International Airport, saying that he would blow it up. His anger was a result of what he saw as FBI’s refusal to help him recover $1,000 lost to a U.S based fraudster.
At the end of October, several businesses in the Dutch city of Amsterdam received emails threatening the owners with grenade attacks if they failed to pay up a 50k euro fee. The extortionists wanted the victims to use wallet addresses on Coinbase to send the funds to a specific Bitcoin wallet.
In May, Norwegian bitcoin mining firm Kryptovault received bomb threats for what the would-be attacker called ‘sabotage’ over increased levels of noise.
Disclaimer: This is not investment advice. Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile assets and are very risky investments. Do your research and consult an investment professional before investing. Never invest more than you can afford to lose. Never borrow money to invest in cryptocurrencies.