South African authorities have recovered a boy who had been kidnapped over the weekend, with the abductors demanding ransom in Bitcoins.
Katlego Marite, 13, was dragged by the gang into a car while playing with two friends near his home in Witbank, a town in in the eastern province of Mpumalanga, on Sunday afternoon.
Provincial police spokesperson Brigadier Leonard Hlathi said he was found in eMalahleni on Thursday afternoon.
“We found him around Witbank. He was found alone,” Hlathi said.
“I am on my way there and I will get more information. The investigators are with him, so they can’t speak to me,” he added.
The kidnappers had left a note behind demanding a ransom of 15 Bitcoins for his release. This amount, when converted, translates to about $120,000.
Katlego’s friends alerted his parents after the incident, and they in turn reported the matter to the police.
The criminal gang in South Africa had earlier kidnapped the teenage boy on Sunday has demanded a ransom payment to release the boy – but in Bitcoin cryptocurrency of nearly $120,000, police said.
The gang dragged Katlego Marite, 13, into a car while playing with two friends near his home in Witbank, a town in in the eastern province of Mpumalanga, on Sunday afternoon, police spokesman Leonard Hlathi said.
“They demanded that the family should deposit a sum of 15 bitcoins, not in rands,” he told news channel eNCA. “(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 $1 million in bitcoins for releasing their victim – an employee of a British cryptocurrency exchange.