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Italian man ‘offered €10,000 in Bitcoin’ to maim ex-partner
Investigators in Rome have placed under house arrest a man who they say paid an attacker over the dark web to maim his ex-girlfriend.
The suspect is accused of offering €10,000 (£8,700; $12,000) in Bitcoin in return for the attack, which may have paralysed the girl, police said.
He was traced by Italian authorities and the EU’s crime agency and the girl was unharmed.
The would-be attacker has not been identified.
What’s the man accused of?
“It seems such as the plot of a modern thriller,” Italy’s Postal and Communication Police said in a statement.
The suspect, a 40-year-old IT expert from the northern region of Lombardy, is speculated to have gone on the dark web some months after his relationship broke down in July 2020.
Police said he contacted an intermediary with a website on the dark web , seeking to hire an attacker to throw acid at his ex-girlfriend’s face and to break her back, leaving her paralysed.
Despite having made the first of four payments to the would-be attacker, the suspect remained in touch with his intended victim, sending her flowers and darkode market – https://drpynz.com/forums/users/jannettewinchcom/ messages, in accordance with police.
Italian news agency Adnkronos quoted the arrest warrant as saying that the attack was to be staged to appear such as for instance a robbery.
The suspect, who had experienced a two-year relationship with the woman, had offered her home address and Facebook profile, the news agency added.
How was he traced?
Italian authorities said these were alerted after messages from the suspect were intercepted by police from another European country in February.
The request have been placed through the Tor network – privacy-focused software used to gain access to the dark web while often obscuring users and data.
However, EU crime agency Europol said it could carry out “an urgent, complex crypto-analysis allow the tracing and identification” of the Bitcoin provider, situated in Italy.
Italian police were then able to obtain hold of further information about the suspect from the crypto-currency provider.
The suspect’s home in Milan was searched by the end of February, based on Italian media, and whilst the search unfolded he’s then said to have called off the attack via his computer.
He’s currently under house arrest, charged with aggravated harassment and attempted personal injury, reports say.
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