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How Extortionists use flood of bomb scares to shake down Moscow courts for bitcoin profit

Scammers, who have been anonymously phoning in bomb hoaxes to Moscow courts, are using email accounts to extort bitcoins in exchange for backing down on their threat, a law enforcement told TASS.

"The extortionists who are vowing to detonate bombs are demanding ransom money be transferred to them in bitcoins in order for them not to carry out their criminal intentions," the source said. The courts corroborated the information on the racketeers’ ransom demands, but did not specify the sum.

According to earlier reports, people were evacuated from the Moscow City Court and the Basmanny, Presnensky, Zamoskvoretsky, Cheryomushkinsky and Chertanovsky District Courts. 

Based on the latest updates, the Presnensky and Cheryomushkinsky Courts have already returned to normal operations. Information about an alleged bomb hidden in the Interior Affairs Directorate for the Southwestern Administrative District and at the Novinsky Passazh shopping mall in downtown Moscow is being investigated as well.

Six courts were also previously cleared out following a bomb scare, but no explosive objects were found there. According to TASS’ source, the racketeers also sought ransom money via bitcoins.

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