Kidnappers in South Africa demand ransom in Bitcoin

Apparently, there have only been two reported cases of kidnappers demanding ransom in cryptocurrency. The first was in Ukraine.

Kidnappers in South Africa abducted a teenage boy on Sunday and are demanding a Bitcoin ransom of about £90,000 (US$120,000), local police reported.

Katlego Marite, 13, was playing with two friends near his home in Witbank, a town located in the eastern province of Mpumalanga, when he was taken away in a Toyota Corolla, police spokesperson Leonard Hlathi told reporters.

“They demanded that the family should deposit a sum of 15 Bitcoins, not in rands (the South African currency),” he said. “(The parents) don’t even know what Bitcoins are.”

Later, Hlathi told TimesLIVE that no suspects had been arrested or charged with any crime. He also said that the detention of suspects for questioning does not automatically mean charges will be laid against them. It was not immediately clear if the detainees who were questioned had since been released from police custody.

This is possibly only the second case of kidnapping in the world in which the criminals have requested a pay off in Bitcoin. Kidnappers in Ukraine received a Bitcoin ransom in December 2017 worth more than £750,000 (US$1 million) for releasing their victim, an employee of a British cryptocurrency exchange.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author should not be considered as financial advice. We do not give advice on financial products.

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