Kevin D. (right) was arrested at hotel J24 in Milan.

Kevin D. (right) was arrested at hotel J24 in Milan. ©  rr


27-year-old Kevin D. from Mechelen was arrested in Milan on Monday. He was lifted from his hotel bed by the police. The man is wanted in America for computer fraud. “We are trying to find out more ourselves,” responds his lawyer.

Sam Reyntjens, Theo Derkinderen

Today at 05:00

Kevin D. was with his father in Milan, Italy, to catch the final of the Nations League football between Spain and France. Sunday evening he posted a video on social media from the stands of San Siro, a few hours later he was handcuffed in a police car. When the front desk clerk at the four-star hotel J24 in central Milan entered his name into the system at check-in, alarm bells went off at the police.

A Texas court in the United States had issued an international arrest warrant for computer fraud and identity theft charges. Kevin B. was taken in his pajamas and transferred to San Vittore Prison. His lawyer, Mr. Sven Mertens, can confirm the arrest, but is still in the dark about the reason. “For now I can’t give any information about this case because I don’t know anything about it either. We are trying to find out more, but the embassy can’t help us either. I can only confirm that he was arrested in the morning, he was not even allowed or allowed to take his medication with him.”

An Italian judge will now have to decide whether or not D. should be extradited to the American authorities.

Convicted of hacking airlines

The content of the file in which D. is wanted by the Americans is not yet clear, but in his entourage it is suspected that this has to do with a case in which he also appeared in court in Belgium.

Kevin D., 27, was arrested in 2017 for hacking airline systems. That way he booked free tickets in business class. He flew business class to New York three times with Brussels Airlines, each time for 5,300 euros. The other airlines that were allegedly hacked at the time also included the name American Airlines. An airline headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas. It is possible that the company also filed a case against D.. No one was available at the court in Fort Worth on Tuesday to explain the arrest warrant.

D. was described by his lawyer at the time as someone who ‘hacked for the adrenaline’. “Deepening into websites and analyzing them was his passion,” said Mr. Mertens in 2020. In addition to airlines, D. also struck Mobistar, where he looted about thirty mobile phones. As a minor, he also hacked into the Utopolis cinema system, in order to be able to go to the movies for free in an empty hall. The Mechelen criminal court gave him a probation suspension. If D. complied with the imposed conditions, he was not punished.

“That probation period is still running and everything is going very well,” said lawyer Mertens. “There was nothing to notice. He also had a steady job. I was therefore shocked when I heard that he was arrested in Italy.”

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