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Denmark to toughen sanctions on coronavirus crimes

Denmark's government will on Thursday submit a second emergency coronavirus law to parliament, which will toughen punishments for coronavirus-related crimes, allow police to ban access to places they deem an infection risk, and make it easier to lower the size of allowed groups.

Denmark to toughen sanctions on coronavirus crimes
Justice Minister Nick Hækkerup said that the tougher sanctions were about sending a signal. Photo: Ida Guldbæk Arentsen/Ritzau Scanpix
At a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, the country's justice minister Nick Hækkerup said that the government planned to quadruple the sanction on any companies caught fraudulently claiming funds under the government's financial aid packages.
 
It will also double the punishment on those who steal hand sanitiser or protective equipment from hospitals or pharmacies. “Going forward, you will go to jail if you commit that crime,” he said. 
 
The minister conceded that the toughened punishments were primarily about sending a signal to potential fraudsters or thieves. 
 
“We hope that it will make an impression when we multiply the punishments,” he said. “When we find that someone is abusing the situation to enrich themselves, we would like to signal that as a society, that is something we disavow.” 
 
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After the press conference, DR reported that a letter from Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen to the chairman of the Danish parliament, Henrik Dam Kristensen, showed that other additional measures would be proposed on Thursday. 
 
There would also be legislative amendments which empower the government to reduce the maximum allowed group below ten at short notice. 
 
The new law would allow the government to ban access to new categories of place, such as playgrounds, without consulting parliament, and it would also empower the police to ban access to any specific place the health authorities deem an infection risk. 

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CRIME

Danish 7-Eleven stores back on grid after ransomware attack

Almost all of 7-Eleven’s 176 Denmark locations are back up and running with the help of a backup system, the company said on Thursday. 

Danish 7-Eleven stores back on grid after ransomware attack

In an email to news wire Ritzau, 7-eleven said that over 96 percent of its convenience stores across Denmark were now in “stable operation”. That corresponds to around 169 stores.

“We have technicians at the remaining stores who are working hard to get them up and running as soon as possible,” the company said in the email.

However, convenience stores at train stations (where you can buy a transport card) were only accepting Dankort (debit card) payments as of Wednesday evening.

All operational stores outside of train stations currently accept Mobile Pay (app) and cash payments, and many can take Visa, Mastercard, and Dankort. 

“We expect that all stores outside of train stations can accept all Visa, Mastercard, and Dankort during the course of tomorrow morning, and all stores at train stations [will be able to] during the course of the week,” the company wrote late on Wednesday.

The convenience store chain was on Monday hit by a cyber attack that forced all of its 176 stores in Denmark to close.

7-Eleven has confirmed that the outage was due to a ransomware attack — hackers demanded money to return access to the company’s data and systems. 

The attack has been reported to police.

The company’s CEO, Jesper Østergaard, told Ritzau he did not know the extent of losses suffered by 7-Eleven as a result of the incident.

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