West Flemish biscuit maker is victim of extortion

The biscuit-maker Jules Destrooper has been sent a letter containing powder from extortionists that are demanding 300,000 euro in bitcoins from the company. The extortionists threaten that if the Ieper (West Flanders)-based company doesn’t pay up by 20 May they will put poison into some of its biscuits. 

The Federal Judicial Authorities have confirmed that Jules Destrooper is just one of a number of companies in Western Europe that have been contacted by extortionists. All the letters contained powder and were sent from Belgium. A criminal investigation has been launched.     

The extortionist(s) demands 300,000 euro in Bitcoins before 20 May. The letter goes on to say that failure to pay up will result in foodstuffs produced by the companies targeted being poisoned with oleandrin, a toxin that can cause heart failure.    

Commissioner Georges Aeck  of the Ieper Local Police Service told VRT News that the alarm was raised as soon as the letter was opened.

“We immediately went to the scene and took the necessary steps”.

The powder in the letter was not poisonous.  

Elsewhere, the Tielen (Antwerp province)-based ice cream company IJsboerke and the Italian chocolate-maker Ferrero were among a host of other companies to receive extortion letters.   

Meanwhile, the Federal Judicial Authorities have confirmed that