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Apple Store Gunman Demanding €200 Million in Crypto Confirmed Dead

The robber caused a stir when it started a hostage situation in an Amsterdam-based Apple store, before demanding more than 200 million euros in crypto. 

Robber Takes Hostage, Demands Crypto Ransom

An armed man, dressed in camouflage, reportedly took over an Apple store in Leidseplein and held one person at gunpoint. The armed man afterward gave an ultimatum of 200 million euros to be paid in crypto or the hostage’s life.

The suspect, only later identified by a local newspaper as Abdel Rahman Akkad, stormed into the store around 5:00 PM local time. A few dozen individuals were able to flee the scene, while about four people hid in cupboards. Akkad, was, however, able to apprehend one person, whose identity has only been disclosed as a male Bulgarian citizen in his mid-forties. He then proceeded to take him hostage for five long hours.

The 27-year-old suspect was reportedly armed with two weapons, one of which he fired about four times at the police. He was also armed with explosives, but police reports say they were in no danger of going off.

As the incident progressed, the suspect sent pictures of himself and the hostage to a local news channel, clad in what appeared to be a bulletproof vest. He then proceeded to request 200 million Euros in cryptocurrency, as well as a guaranteed safe exit from the building. The police are yet to disclose the cryptocurrency Akkad demanded the ransom be in.

Late in the night, the five-hour-long standoff was brought to an abrupt end. As the police delivered water to the store at Akkad’s request, the hostage took advantage of the situation and ran out of the building. As Akkad gave in pursuit, he was mowed down by a policy-driven vehicle. His injuries eventually proved fatal, and his lawyer confirmed his death on Wednesday evening.

Investigations are still ongoing, however, the police believe Akkad acted alone. It is still unclear what exactly prompted his actions.

The hostage is safe, the four people who hid in the building went unnoticed. The police have also not reported any injuries. Apple afterward expressed its gratitude to the Dutch police force, commending their efforts in apprehending the perpetrator.

Crypto Crimes Take Unusual Forms

Only a week ago, the FBI established a new division to exclusively tackle blockchain-related crimes. The new division was created to ward off perpetrators that cryptocurrencies were not “a safe haven” for criminals. While the division’s objectives might be focused on more digital attacks than physical and social interplay, there are signs that crypto crimes are taking these latter forms as well.

Recently, Police reported a scam where a perpetrator tricked and threatened a victim before scuttling off with some Bitcoin. With crypto’s increasing popularity, is also its tendency to be perceived as a safe cover for regular malicious actors to carry out crimes without being caught. This is one possible new division head, director Eun Young Choi, was quick to stress.

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Most crypto scams, of course, are more elaborate and require no guns or threats. Take for example Open Sea’s recent phishing attack. Nevertheless, crimes like Akkad’s remain and represent a new dilemma for authorities and the police to confront.

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