Amsterdam Apple Shop hostage taker demanded 200 million euro ransom | Business and finance

AMSTERDAM (AP) — A gunman who held a hostage for hours at the Apple Store in Amsterdam has demanded a ransom of 200 million euros (over $226 million) in cryptocurrencies before being run over by police as he chased his hostage from the store, police and prosecutors said Wednesday.

The tense five-hour standoff paralyzed one of Amsterdam’s most popular nightlife areas for hours on Tuesday as dozens of heavily armed police surrounded the store, managing to free around 70 people from the building that houses the store before the suspect is arrested.

Police chief Frank Paauw said the suspect, a 27-year-old man from Amsterdam armed with a handgun and an automatic weapon and wearing camouflage clothing, was run over by police as he he pursued his fleeing hostage. The hostage was a Bulgarian, police said. They did not reveal his identity.

“The hostage played a sort of hero role in forcing a breakthrough in this situation,” Paauw said at an early morning news conference. “Otherwise it could have been a very long and unpleasant night and possibly longer.”

After the suspect was knocked down, a robot checked him for explosives as snipers in nearby buildings took aim, green laser beams from their weapons clearly visible in the night sky. During contacts with the police, the suspect had threatened to blow himself up.

Police said Wednesday he had “explosive components” but were unarmed.

Paauw said the man was taken to hospital with serious injuries. He remained hospitalized Wednesday under police guard. Police said they were investigating his exact motive.

Investigations continued on Wednesday, including the search of two houses in Amsterdam. The Apple Store was listed on the company’s website as closed on Wednesday and Thursday. Bullet holes were visible in the store windows.

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