After two months of hard work, Mpumalanga police in South Africa, arrest two suspects in kidnapping for bitcoin plot. A 13-year-old boy in Witbank was kidnapped. As result kidnappers demanded the family to pay the equivalent of $120,000 in bitcoin. Which is the ransom for the safe return of the Witbank teenager.
South Africa’s Times reported the kidnapping case happened in May 2018. Afterward, the South African Police Service (SAPS) made an exceptional task team. which managed this uncommon danger of kidnappers attempting to facilitate their criminal action utilizing cryptocurrency’s relative anonymity.
SAPS Brigadier Leonard Hlathi stated: These cases were the first of their kind in Mpumalanga. Therefore the task team comprising of different units within the South African Police Service was immediately established. Which has to investigate this matter.”
“The dedicated formations left no stone unturned in their investigation, finally knitting all clues and eventually their efforts yielded positive results as the suspects were arrested thereafter at different locations,” he added.
The kidnappers grabbed the victim who was on his way from a shop with his friend on May 20. The kidnappers snatched and constrained him into a silver Toyota Corolla. Afterward, they hurried off with no attempt o be subtle. A CCTV in the neighborhood recorded the visuals. The kid’s parents at that time did not even know what bitcoin was. They returned home to a payoff note requesting bitcoin worth 1.5 million rands.
The special team who initiated the examination of this case indicated that the principal suspect was nabbed in Germiston, Gauteng in November. While the second suspect was arrested in Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal, on December 30.
The suspects behind the kidnappings are aged 30 and 31. The team realized during the screening of questions that they had a similar plan to ask for payment through bitcoin. On Tuesday, they both showed up in court where bail was set at 1,000 rands each.
Similar Instances In The Past
In previous reports, a similar incident occurred in Cape Town. A few criminals kidnapped Liqyat Paker, a businessman, on his way to work. His abductors requested 50 BTC as ransom from his family. It is unclear whether the payoff was actually paid before Parker was released following a 2-month ordeal. However, in other prominent cases around the globe, bitcoin ransoms have been paid to kidnappers.
The abduction of Crypto exchange Executive Pavel Lerner in Kyiv, Ukraine, Dec 2017 is another instance. The criminals demanded about $1 million worth of bitcoin. A month prior to that incident, the Turkish police in Istanbul declared the capture of a group of local gangsters who specialized in extorting bitcoin amounts from targets they identified on social media.