Suspects Detained in Ukraine for Bomb Threats Demanding Bitcoin

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The Security Service of Ukraine (SSU) detained terrorists who demanded bitcoin in return for not blowing up buildings in the country’s capital.

According to a post on SSU’s Facebook page, two 60 year old men posted a paper note on an apartment building in Kyiv threatening to blow up that building or another one if they didn’t receive 50 BTC to their bitcoin address.

To prove they were serious, the alleged terrorists detonated a small bomb near a subway station on July 21 and then called the police twice, reporting that bombs were planted in other locations in Kyiv, and that those actions were related to the explosion near the subway station.

After analyzing cell phone data and street camera footage, the SSU detained two suspects.

“Despite their advanced age, they learned how various criminal have been using crypto and hoped to avoid punishment after getting money in a digital wallet,” wrote Anton Herashchenko, deputy minister at the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs on his Facebook page.

The bitcoin wallet address on the threat notice has only one incoming transaction on record, receiving 0.00012258 BTC on July 22 from an unknown address. According to data from Crystal Blockchain transaction tracing software, the money came to the wallet from the LocalBitcoins marketplace via nine hops through other addresses, including several transactions to the Russian dark market Hydra. 

In December 2019, a series of bomb threats disrupted work at schools, courthouses, shopping malls and airports in Russia, with anonymous terrorists claiming to be defrauded users of the defunct WEX exchange and demanding 120 BTC.

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