Kidnapped Online Gambling Platform Owner Remains Missing Despite Family Paying Bitcoin Ransom
William Sean Creighton Kopko is an American businessman, knowing for his ownership of an online gambling platform named 5Dimes. Three months ago, he was the victim of a kidnapping in Costa Rica, when the kidnappers demanded that his family pay out almost $1 million in Bitcoin. Though his family paid out the Bitcoin to the kidnappers, Kopko has still yet to be returned to them, according to reports from TheNextWeb.
At this point, there are 12 people that are suspected to be involved in this kidnapping, all of which have been arrested. Nine of the suspects were found and arrested in Costa Rica, while another three were arrested while in Spain. There were some reports that suggested that the body of Kopko had been found in October, but this suggestion was ultimately disproven.
The Spanish Civil Guard reported that the three ringleaders had left Costa Rica and traveled to Cuba soon after the abduction took place. By November, the authorities said that all three left together from Cuba to Spain, residing in Zaragoza City when they were discovered and arrested. Considering the high rate of crime associated with many parts of Costa Rica, tourists have been encouraged to take caution.
The U.S. State Department had gone as far as to warn potential tourists about gang activity that could turn deadly. They added,
“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.”
To gather intel a week ago, Norwegian police had been publicly asking for tips in another kidnapping that occurred around the same time. This kidnapping was of Anne-Elisabeth Falkevik Hagen, wife of multi-millionaire Tom Hagen, who was abducted on Halloween of 2018. According to a local magazine called Kapital, Hagen is a real estate investor that managed to become Norway’s 172nd richest person last year. He is worth about $200 million.
In this kidnapping, Hagen’s wife is believed to have been taken from her bathroom, with her husband quickly realizing her absence. Not long after, the kidnappers submitted a ransom note that they would require nine million Euros for his return. However, it needed to be paid to them in Monero, and that no police were to be involved.
Considering the lack of a solution that the police have found, they publicized the event by stating,
“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”.
ABC reported that police have released footage that surveilled the area, and the footage is allowing them to now search for the suspects. The chief police investigator on the case, Tommy Broske, commented,
“We have access to surveillance video showing persons moving on the outside of the building on the day in question.”