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    Italian man ‘offered €10,000 in Bitcoin’ to maim ex-partner

    Investigators in Rome have placed under house arrest a man who they say paid an attacker within the dark web to maim his ex-girlfriend.

    The suspect is accused of offering €10,000 (£8,700; $12,000) in Bitcoin in return for the attack, which may have paralysed the girl, police said.

    He was traced by Italian authorities and the EU’s crime agency and the lady was unharmed.

    The would-be attacker hasn’t been identified.

    What is the person accused of?
    “It looks such as the plot of a modern thriller,” Italy’s Postal and Communication Police said in a statement.

    The suspect, a 40-year-old IT expert from the northern region of Lombardy, is speculated to have gone on the dark web some months after his relationship broke down in July 2020.

    Police said he contacted an intermediary with a website on the dark web , darkode reborn seeking to hire an attacker to throw acid at his ex-girlfriend’s face and to break her back, leaving her paralysed.

    Despite having made the first of four payments to the would-be attacker, the suspect remained touching his intended victim, sending her flowers and messages, in accordance with police.

    Italian news agency Adnkronos quoted the arrest warrant as saying that the attack was to be staged to appear like a robbery.

    The suspect, who had been in a two-year relationship with the woman, had handed down her home address and Facebook profile, the news headlines agency added.

    How was he traced?
    Italian authorities said they certainly were alerted after messages from the suspect were intercepted by police from another European country in February.

    The request have been placed through the Tor network – privacy-focused software used to gain access to the dark web while often obscuring users and data.

    However, EU crime agency Europol said it could carry out “an urgent, complex crypto-analysis to enable the tracing and identification” of the Bitcoin provider, situated in Italy.

    Italian police were then able to have hold of further details about the suspect from the crypto-currency provider.

    The suspect’s home in Milan was searched at the end of February, according to Italian media, and whilst the search unfolded he’s then said to own called off the attack via his computer.

    He is currently under house arrest, charged with aggravated harassment and attempted personal injury, reports say.

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