Cybercrime investigators have charged a Melbourne man after he allegedly threatened to start a bushfire in an attempt to extort millions of dollars.
The 27-year-old Bundoora man was charged with racketeering on Monday over an online message he allegedly sent to a Queensland emergency service in October.
The threat received by the emergency service said a wildfire would start if $5 million in cryptocurrency was not transferred within three days.
The emergency service then passed the message on to the police. No money was exchanged and the threat was not carried out.
Victoria Police took over the investigation after authorities determined the message came from the state.
After what police described as an extensive investigation, detectives searched a property in Bundoora last week, seizing two computers and a telephone.
The man was later arrested and charged with extortion endangering life and threat of destruction/damage to property.
He was also charged with drug possession and failure to provide information under warrant.
He has been released on bail and will appear before the Heidelberg Magistrates’ Court on August 1.
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