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Letter bomb sent to London bitcoin firm over password snub

UK News | Published:

Michael Salonen, 43, has been jailed in Sweden for attempted murder.

A Bitcoin ATM

A Swedish man has been jailed for sending a “potentially lethal” letter bomb to a London bitcoin company after the firm refused to send him a new password.

Michael Salonen, 43, was convicted of attempted murder in Stockholm on Friday over posting a package containing two pipe bomb-like devices to Cryptopay,

It was addressed to two employees and sent care of an accounting firm based in an office block in Hackney, north London, where it was opened but the device did not explode.

Scotland Yard’s counter-terror police matched DNA found on the bomb to Salonen, who was known to Swedish authorities.

Detectives believe Cryptopay customer Salonen sent the package because the company refused to change his password as it contravened its privacy policy.

Commander Clarke Jarrett, head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, said: “Salonen seemingly made and sent a device that had the capability to seriously harm and even kill over something as inconsequential as a change of password.

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“Fortunately, the bomb did not detonate. It was due to sheer luck that the recipient ripped open the package in the middle rather than using the envelope flap which would have activated the device.”

Salonen was arrested in May at Stockholm’s international airport upon arrival from Thailand, where he had been detained pending extradition, and numerous bomb parts were found in his home.

A judge sentenced Salonen to seven years’ imprisonment on Friday after finding him guilty of attempted murder, for sending the bomb, and 20 counts of threats, for sending a white powder in letters to high-profile figures in Sweden and a British businessman.

Sweden’s security service, which was involved in the case because it concerned national government members, determined the powder was harmless and the letter to the British man was intercepted at a Swedish sorting office.

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A handwritten letter, including some white powder, sent to Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, which said: “You will soon be dead” was intercepted at the the Foreign Ministry in Stockholm in August last year.

Cryptopay co-founder Dmitrii Guniashov said the office the parcel was delivered to was only a registered address, which had been changed a few months earlier.

“The address itself belongs to our former accountants and we are really glad that no one from The Accountancy Cloud team was hurt because of this incident. None of our employees were ever working out of that address,” he said.

“The vast majority of our employees are working remotely across Europe, but we are implementing additional security measures which would prevent any potential harm to any of our employees anyway.

“We are thankful for both British and Swedish police, who were able to investigate the case with a due professionalism.”

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