Missing boy, Kathlego Marite. PHOTO: Supplied

In The News South Africa

Katlego Marite’s kidnappers demand ransom in bitcoin to free him – Police

Solly Makganoto

Johannesburg-  A criminal gang in Mpumalanga who kidnapped a teenage boy on Sunday are demanding a ransom in bitcoin cryptocurrency of nearly 1.5 million rands police said.

Police spokesperson Leonard Hlathi said, Katlego Marite, 13, was dragged into a car while playing with two friends near his home in Frangipani Street in Tasbetpark Extension 03, in Witbank on Sunday afternoon.

“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 the South African police service (SAPS) 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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