( Liverpool ) — The trial got underway today for homicidal software engineer Mohammed Ammer Ali, 31, who allegedly tried to use the deepweb currency Bitcoin to procure a chemical weapon.
Ricin poisoning can kill its victims within three to five days after the individual first suffers from multiple organ failure. A tiny dose of the purified powder amounting to a few grains of table salt can kill an average sized adult. Ali ordered enough ricin to kill around 1,400 people.
Opening the trial for the prosecution on Tuesday, Sally Howes told jurors that Ali used encrypted messages to order 500mg of ricin from the bitcoin website known as the Evolution Marketplace. Howes told the court,
Expert scientific opinion is that, if administered or inhaled, that quantity of ricin would be a lethal dose sufficient to kill between 700 and 1,400 people.
Over several days of communication, Ali is accused of arranging to have the poison delivered to his home concealed in a toy car containing five 100mg vials. He agreed to pay $500 for the ricin using the digital currency called Bitcoin, jurors heard.
First Known Case
Bitcoin is used often for drug trafficking, ransomware attacks, money laundering, and child porno. But this is the first known case where a Bitcoiner attempted to use the nefarious cryptotoken to purchase chemical weapons.
Ali promised to be a “very good repeat customer” if he was satisfied with the product, suggesting he would go on to order 500mg a month for several months. The trial continues in Liverpool tomorrow.
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