Shocking news to the die-hard fans of cryptocurrency. Three vandals were presented to the law for destroying Bitcoin ATMs located in the USA.
A long term operation with the objective of harming the companies that use this exchange system was discovered. One of the companies was forced to pay money to the criminals in order to preserve their machines.
Authorities were able to corroborate that the alleged offenders, Alvin Konja, Andrew Konja and Odai Mabroukare, made extortion threats for 9 months to multiple Bitcoin ATM operators. The perpetrators threatened to destroy the operators’ machines unless a ransom was paid in Bitcoin.
The lawyer assigned to the case informed that in the last months 70 Bitcoin ATMs were destroyed, from those, 20 were the property of the company ‘Bitcoin of America‘.
The lawsuit was presented by the company SandP Solutions Inc. in the last days of December, although the involved people were transferred to the Illinois North District Court, the fact is that the ATMs’ destruction continues until now. In the report made by the demanding company, they state the following:
The plaintiff informed us that the Bitcoin ATM’s were destroyed in Chicago and Detroit metropolitan area. This was made by an individual who used a hammer or a similar tool, what left the machines useless for a long period of time. The screens had to be replaced in order to make them operative again; this implied a considerable monetary expense assumed by the operator company.
From the information made public about the case, it was known that Andrew Konja was the owner of his own ATM company, that later fused with another that has headquarters in the city of Philadelphia –and that also uses devices for the bitcoin exchanges–, known as Bitexpress. The company has not released a statement about what happened, at least for the moment.
It is expected that the authorities make a new announcement very soon, especially because the healthy competition between Bitcoin ATM operators could be affected in the region. Crypto-enthusiasts are hoping for the police to take action to prevent similar crimes in the future.