Blackmailing German Bomber Demands 10 Million Euros In Bitcoin From DHL

As we reported earlier, Bitcoin brushed off the weekend sell-off and blasted above the $14,000 level as the Asian trading session got underway. There was no news to catalyse the move higher, although excitement and debate over the upcoming launch of Bitcoin futures on 10 December continues. One Bitcoin-related story did peak our interest, however.

It might be a sign that Bitcoin is becoming mainstream when blackmailers are prepared to accept the cryptocurrency as payment.

German tabloid, Bild, is reporting that this has befallen logistics company, Deutsche Post DHL. However, the recipients of two deliveries containing explosive devices had a lucky escape, as Bloomberg explains.

A criminal blackmailing Deutsche Post’s DHL parcel service demands EU10m in the digital currency Bitcoin, German newspaper Bild reports, not saying where it got the information. Blackmailer placed two bombs in parcels delivered by DHL; bombs didn’t detonate because of technical problems

Parcels included QR codes with links to extortion letter to DHL

Threatened to send further bombs

German Parcel Bomb Is Part of Extortion Plan Against DHL: Police

Handelsblatt provided more details of one of the bombs found in the eastern German city of Potsdam.

Authorities confirmed Sunday the apparent bomb found near the Potsdam Christmas market on Friday was unrelated to terrorism but an attempt to blackmail delivery company DHL. The package resulted in a large-scale evacuation of the market in Potsdam, near Berlin.

“The good news is that we can say, with all likelihood, the package was not aimed at the Christmas market,” Karl-Heinz Schröter, Brandenburg’s state interior minister, told reporters. “The bad news is that it was a blackmail attempt targeting DHL.”

The Potsdam package, containing nails, an unidentified powder substance and a metal cylinder, was sent to a nearby pharmacy as a special delivery. The store’s owner informed authorities after noticing unusual wires and hearing a hissing noise while opening the package. Police initially believed the package to be a fake bomb but, after forensic teams examined it, determined it was “capable of activation.”

The other bomb was found in a similar package in another eastern city, Frankfurt/Oder,last month. German officials warned that the blackmailers would “likely” send more explosive devices in the run-up to Christmas.

Of course, Bitcoin naysayers are likely to pounce on stories like this to dismiss Bitcoin as merely a mechanism for facilitating criminal activity. Indeed, Larry Finck of Blackrock dismissed it as a index to gauge worldwide money laundering, our old friend Neil Dwane, of Allianz Global Investors, described it as a “scam for money laundering around the world” and Jamie Dimon famously described it as a “fraud”.

In the meantime, the merits of Bitcoin as a means of payment and as investment continues. Yesterday, the CEO of ICE, which owns the NYSE, lamented that his organisation was “beaten to the punch” in trading Bitcoin futures by the CME and CBOE. As we noted, Jeff Sprecher told a Goldman investor conference on Tuesday that that “we may be stupid for not being first on that" adding that “I don’t have the answers, I wish I knew” how the investments will evolve, he said. “I don’t know what to make of cryptocurrencies.”


Bokkenrijder HRClinton Thu, 12/07/2017 - 05:14 Permalink

"It might be a sign that Bitcoin is becoming mainstream when blackmailers are prepared to accept the cryptocurrency as payment."BTC going mainstream? Why, because a criminal/extortionist uses it?Complete bullshit and I'd say it’s actually the opposite and reminiscent of the early days of Silk Road: BTC is the preferred payment option for criminals and extortionists.Hardly mainstream at all, instead it's the usual "this time it's different" and "pump-and-dump/let's create a hype" wishful thinking...

In reply to by HRClinton

I_rikey_lice any_mouse Thu, 12/07/2017 - 04:59 Permalink

"In the meantime, the merits of Bitcoin as a means of payment and as investment continues"… "As of today, Steam will no longer support Bitcoin as a payment method on our platform due to high fees and volatility in the value of Bitcoin.In the past few months we've seen an increase in the volatility in the value of Bitcoin and a significant increase in the fees to process transactions on the Bitcoin network. For example, transaction fees that are charged to the customer by the Bitcoin network have skyrocketed this year, topping out at close to $20 a transaction last week (compared to roughly $0.20 when we initially enabled Bitcoin). Unfortunately, Valve has no control over the amount of the fee. These fees result in unreasonably high costs for purchasing games when paying with Bitcoin. The high transaction fees cause even greater problems when the value of Bitcoin itself drops dramatically."

In reply to by any_mouse

Ghordius any_mouse Thu, 12/07/2017 - 05:25 Permalink

"Wintermarkt is politically correct term in Germany"

excellent illustration for how far US(/UK) Culture Wars go... or not

"War On Christmas"? on the european continent we still don't really even understand the concept. we do get that it's raging... in English speaking countries. and... that's it

perhaps the most non-PC part is that we are not that fond of the "War on..." template in the first place

In reply to by any_mouse

East Indian Thu, 12/07/2017 - 04:31 Permalink

Nice way to hammer the BTC a bit down. Declare it illegal if necessary. Never let the sheeple out of the fiat-net.  That apart, the address can be linked to a wallet easily, I hope. And traced through its transactions. BTC is not as anonymous as people believe. 

quadraspleen East Indian Thu, 12/07/2017 - 05:14 Permalink

As you say..the Mockingbird-inspired media continues its demonisation of BTC, all the while their corrupt compatriots in the finance sector are jumping in with both feet...see a pattern here?No criminal I have ever met (and I have met a few) would even know what a fucking Bitcoin was, let alone how to transact in it..Bankers not so stupid

In reply to by East Indian

gunzeon quadraspleen Thu, 12/07/2017 - 06:24 Permalink

exactly ! which leads to the conclusion that this is a false flag to create the pretext of the "War on Bitcoin" ... think tonkin, gladio, what have you.Wicked blackmailers, drug pedlars, hoes, tax-dodgers, black marketeers and scallywags generally running around exchanging value and completely bypassing The Man.addendum: now, Monero or ZCash i can dig

In reply to by quadraspleen

Spaced Out Thu, 12/07/2017 - 04:34 Permalink

"It might be a sign that Bitcoin is becoming mainstream when blackmailers are prepared to accept the cryptocurrency as payment."Haven't you guys been reading the news for the last four years?

Vageling Thu, 12/07/2017 - 05:13 Permalink

DaFuQ? What the fuck are customs doing? They scan shit, have special dogs, procedures... But still! Technical problems. Yeah, right. Give up moar freedom serfs. Not so we can scan cargo better but aquire sensitive data on dissidents. What a fucking world! 10 million? Please. And with all that monitoring they still have no leads? A hissing noise? Yeah... Because this is the 20th century and bombs still make a "ticking" sound. Fuck off. Maybe fucking DHL needs to be audited on the security protocols. Somewhere, someone isn't doing their fucking job. And I can know. 

Internet-is-Beast Thu, 12/07/2017 - 07:17 Permalink

The robber is probably planning to hold on to his bitcoin for appreciation. The best thing to do would be to set up a charitable foundation which he could dedicate to building a library. He could use it to help earthquake victims, since there will be plenty of earthquakes in the coming years. It has been proven that this is a surefire way to use money intended for charitable purposes if he truly wants to become a billionaire.

An advantage to using this approach is that he can also rest assured that he will be all but guaranteed freedom from government prosecution, What is not to like?

He could call it the Robbin Hood Foundation, since he is a hoodlum, even sports a hood, and engages in robbin people. He may have to knock off a few people who clutter his path, but that goes with the territory. "No Problemo" in any case.

Pandelis Thu, 12/07/2017 - 06:02 Permalink

the thing is at which rate?  bitcoin is changing hourly ... a better request could have been asking for 1000 Bitcoin instead of asking euros or dullars amount in bitcoin.

Zepper Thu, 12/07/2017 - 06:24 Permalink

I wonder why the blackmailers chose Bitcoin? Could it be because its anonymous!? Could it? Naw, thats just fairy tales. BITCOIN: Loved by Terrorists, Dictators, Drug Lords and Now BlackMailers EVERYWHERE!!!  

Juliette Thu, 12/07/2017 - 07:13 Permalink

I think this is a government ploy to scare people away from BTC ... "See, terrorists are using Bitcoin! It must be evil! Stay away from Bitcoin, you dont want to be a terrorist after all ...."