Police officers in India have rescued three individuals, including two cryptocurrency traders, who were held at gunpoint for ransom. The attackers held them captive for two weeks and demanded 80 bitcoins to free the prisoners.
A strange Bitcoin-related crime drama is unfolding in India which, luckily, has resulted in three lives saved. A criminal gang was responsible for abducting three individuals who were held for 15 days inside a high-rise building. Beaten and tortured, the attackers demanded 80 BTC in ransom (equivalent to $840,000) in exchange for their freedom.
The gang first kidnapped two individuals who are Bitcoin traders. Another individual related to the duo was also abducted days later and kept in captivity. The families of the victims were also extorted, but it seems that the ransom was not paid.
The police were alerted to the crime via a 20-minute car chase which resulted in the arrest of a suspect. The suspect, carrying a pistol, was located in Jaipur and confessed to the kidnapping. Providing the location, the police stormed the lair where the victims were being held and were promptly freed. Jaipur police said the three rescued people are 19-year-old Luftan Shaikh, 44-year-old Malang Shah, and 36-year-old Mohammad Shazad. The victims were lured by the gang through an offering for cheap Bitcoin.
Crimes for Coins
Luckily, the police were able to rescue the victims or else they would have been killed, according to Indian-based media outlet NDTV. During the raid, police seized both guns and SUVs from the criminal gang. The gang was made up of mostly youths, age 24 to as young as 19. They are also believed to be involved in other kidnappings, extortion, and looting according to the Hindustan Times.
Although the trio was luckily saved, the bizarre story should be a warning to never expose your cryptocurrency holdings to strangers online. Moreover, always meet for OTC trading in a public area.
Sadly, there have been plenty of other cases of Bitcoin being demanded in kidnapping ransoms. At the beginning of this year, a 13-year-old boy was abducted in South Africa where the kidnappers demanded BTC in exchange for his freedom. We will likely see cryptocurrency-related ransoms become more common as prices rise.
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