Campina blackmailer jailed for 10 years
23 March 2004
AMSTERDAM — The 46-year-old Dutchman who tried to blackmail dairy company Campina by poisoning desserts last year was jailed for 10 years by Utrecht Court on Monday.
The man — identified as F. van L., of Chaam in North Brabant — was found guilty on blackmail charges and five counts of attempted murder. The prosecution had demanded a 15-year jail term.
The court ruled that Van L. was guilty of putting potentially fatal doses of an agricultural poison in Campina desserts in a bid to extort EUR 50,000. Four people in North Brabant fell ill after eating the desserts, resulting in the defendant being found guilty of attempted murder.
Van L. was also convicted of earlier attempts to blackmail supermarket chain Albert Heijn, Dutch rail NS and consumer product company Sara Lee, news agency ANP reported.
Campina received the first threats two years ago and after it was revealed he had carried through with the threats, the company resolved in consultation with police to pay EUR 50,000 in blackmail.
Bank account and PIN number details were made available to the blackmailer in a coded photo of a car in an advertisement placed in the vehicle classifieds section of Dutch daily newspaper De Telegraaf.
The blackmailer collected the details to withdraw the money, but his internet actions led to his downfall.
Dutch police placed a request with the FBI who tracked the man down via a US internet service provider (ISP), whcih guarantees anonimity.
Assisted by a supplied email address, police obtained the man’s address via a Dutch ISP and placed him under surveillance. He was arrested in July 2003 after he tried to withdraw the money with a bankcard he’d had made via the US internet provider.
Van L. confessed to the blackmail attempts and also claimed that he never wanted to injure anyone. He said he could not imagine that anyone would eat the poisoned yogurt desserts because they had a bitter taste and a terrible smell.
The court ordered that he pay EUR 27,000 in damages to Albert Heijn and EUR 7,000 to a couple who became ill after eating one of the Campina desserts.
The court took into account an assessment from the PBC psychiatric observation clinic that the suspect was not fully accountable for his actions at the time of the crimes.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news