A criminal gang in South Africa which kidnapped a teenage boy on Sunday is demanding a ransom in bitcoin cryptocurrency of nearly 120,000, dollars 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, on Sunday afternoon.
“They demanded that the family should deposit a sum of 15 bitcoins, not in rands,” he told news channel eNCA.
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“(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.