VicPol Corporate

Cybercrime Squad detectives charge man over alleged bushfire extortion

Monday 27 February 2023 3:05pm

Detectives from the Cybercrime Squad have charged a man following an alleged $5 million extortion.

A Queensland emergency service reported that they had received an online message demanding the money be transferred by crypto currency within three days or a bushfire would be lit back in October 2022.

No money was exchanged and the threat was not carried out, however, the investigation was handed over to the Victoria Police when it was established the message originated in Victoria.

Following an extensive investigation, detectives executed a search warrant at a Bundoora address last week where they seized a number of items including two computers and a phone.

A 27-year-old Bundoora man was subsequently arrested yesterday.

He has since been charged with extortion with threat to endanger life, threat to destroy/damage property, possess drug of dependence and fail to provide information under warrant.

He has been bailed to face Heidelberg Magistrates’ Court on 1 August, 2023.

Sam Bidey

Media Unit


Reviewed 27 February 2023