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Brazilian Supermarket Bomber ‘Demanded BTC Ransom’

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 2 min read
A home-made bomb, featuring sticks of dynamite, a digital timer, wires, and duct tape.
Source: Stockis/Adobe

A Brazilian barber has admitted to blowing up a supermarket and trying to blackmail its owner into paying a Bitcoin (BTC) ransom.

In an official police release, officers explained that the man demanded a BTC payment of just under $61,000.

The man, described as a 33-year-old barber with no criminal record, told a supermarket chain’s customer service team that an explosive device would be detonated in a store if he did not receive the coins.

When the team refused to pay the ransom, the barber detonated a “homemade” device in a branch of the supermarket.

Two people were badly injured.

One was a seven-year-old child, and the other was an adult.

Others were treated with minor injuries.

Police raided the suspect’s house and found materials that appeared to have been used to create explosive devices.

A selection of materials seized by the police and allegedly used by a suspected criminal to make explosive devices.
A photograph of the materials the suspect allegedly used to make home-made explosive devices. (Source: Polícia Civil-MT)

Officers said they found gunpowder and electronic equipment used for “remote detonations,” as well as “ammunition, a motorcycle, and other objects” allegedly used to commit the crime.

The police explained that the incident took place in the town of Rondonópolis, which has around 239,000 residents.

The town is located in the state of Mato Grosso, in Western Brazil.

The supermarket, part of a chain, reportedly began “receiving app messages from a person who claimed to be a member of an organization that carries out extremely violent actions.”

After the explosion, the same individual allegedly contacted the company’s customer service team and threatened to detonate more devices unless he received payment.

Police said the barber had made a full confession after he was arrested.

Bitcoin Blackmail Bomber: ‘Planned to Use a Coin Mixer’

Officers also claimed that the barber had “meticulously planned” the crime, and began purchasing explosives in October 2022.

Police said that he had “confessed to planting the bombs in supermarkets” on March 31, 2022, prior to detonating the device on April 4.

They stated that the man had been studying “homemade bombs” for 15 years, and that he “planned to use a coin mixer” to throw investigators off his trail.

But, the police claimed that “after seeing” the devastation caused by the first explosion, he no longer wanted to continue with his plan to detonate a second device.

Last month, police swooped on a sextortion ring that demanded that victims paid crypto ransoms.

The operators had obtained “intimate” photos and videos of victims and told them that they would make these materials public if the ransoms were not paid.