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$1 Million in Bitcoin Ransom Paid, American in Costa Rica Still Missing

Originally published on: CCN
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January 14, 2019


Twelve people suspected to be involved in the kidnapping of the American businessman William Sean Creighton Kopko in Costa Rica have been arrested.

Nine of the suspects were arrested in Costa Rica while three were nabbed in Spain, according to Television New Zealand. It’s now three months since the American businessman was kidnapped in the Central American country.

Kopko’s family paid a ransom of nearly $950,000 in bitcoin which was demanded shortly after he disappeared. However, Kopko, who owns the online gambling platform 5Dimes, was never released and is still missing.

In October last year, reports surfaced suggesting that Kopko’s body had been found, but this was proven untrue.

Central America to Europe

According to the Spanish Civil Guard, three suspects who allegedly were the ringleaders fled Costa Rica to Cuba. In November, the three left Cuba for Spain where they were staying in Zaragoza city at the time of their arrest.

Tourists to the Central American country are advised to exercise extra caution in certain parts of Costa Rica due to crime. In particular, the U.S. State Department warns that gang activity poses a deadly risk in certain parts of the capital San Jose:

Pavas and Hospital neighborhoods in San Jose – Criminal assault and homicides have been reported in these areas. Gang activity, such as territorial disputes and narcotics trafficking, has been reported in Pavas in the vicinity of the U.S. Embassy.

Just a week ago the Norwegian police went public asking for tips in the kidnapping mystery of a Norwegian millionaire’s wife. Multi-millionaire Tom Hagen’s wife, Anne-Elisabeth Falkevik Hagen, was abducted from her home October 31st.

Per Norwegian magazine Kapital, Hagen, is Norway’s 172nd richest person as of 2018. Hagen is a real estate investor and the owner of an electric company. He is said to be worth over $200 million.

9 Million Euros Ransom Note

As CCN reported, the kidnappers are believed to have accosted her in her own bathroom. Her husband was the first to notice her disappearance. A note demanding a ransom of nine million euros was found shortly after.

The kidnappers specifically demanded that the ransom should be paid in Monero. Additionally, the ransom note warned against involving the police. Having reached a dead end, the police decided to go public:

Our goal is to find the woman alive and reunite her with her family. In serious crime cases, time is an important factor. We depend on tips that can help us come closer to finding Anne-Elisabeth.

According to ABC, the police have released video surveillance footage. Tommy Broske, the chief police investigator, says they are already searching for the suspects caught in the footage:

We have access to surveillance video showing persons moving on the outside of the building on the day in question.

Featured image from Shutterstock.



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