A criminal gang in South Africa which kidnapped a teenage boy on Sunday, May 20, is demanding a ransom in bitcoin cryptocurrency of nearly $120,000, police said.
Police spokesperson Leonard Hlathi said, Katlego Marite, 13, was dragged into a car while playing with two friends near his home in Witbank, a town in the eastern province of Mpumalanga, in the afternoon of Sunday, May 20.
“They demanded that the family should deposit a sum of 15 bitcoins, not in rands,” the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports
“(The parents) don’t even know what these bitcoins are. They are not dealing in those things. They are in tatters as we speak.”
Although police in South Africa have reported a recent rise in kidnappings, the ransom demand in cryptocurrency appears to be a first.
In December, kidnappers in Ukraine received a ransom worth more than one million in dollars bitcoins for releasing their victim, an employee of a British cryptocurrency exchange.
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NAIJ.com previously reported that a dreaded Port Harcourt kidnap kingpin and pirate, Prosper David, popularly known as militant general, died from injuries sustained during a gun battle with operatives of the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT), in his hideout in Bayelsa state.
A statement issued by the force public relations officer, Jimoh Moshood, revealed that one AK47 rifle, 26 rounds of AK47 live ammunition, four expended shells of ammunition and Nokia phone belonging to a victim and used in the negotiation of ransom were recovered.
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