A young South African boy was found today Thursday 24th of May, four days after he was abducted by a group of men who requested for a ransom in bitcoin cryptocurrency worth about $123,000 (105,000 euros), the South African police announced.
Police refused to disclose if any amount had been paid after the 13-year-old boy was taken in the eastern province of Mpumalanga while playing near his home and driven away in a car by these gang. Local media published a ransom note left at the scene demanding 15 bitcoins and giving an address for a bitcoin “wallet” — an internet location where the virtual currency can be stored.
“I can confirm that Katlego Marite has been found,” Mpumalanga police spokesman Leonard Hlathi told eNCA television news.
“I am not at liberty to divulge more details. Currently an investigation is underway
“He was alone when he was found. He is 100 percent fine. The parents are by the side with their son and the police are also with him.”
The case appeared to be the first ransom demand made in virtual currency in the history of South Africa. In March, US hackers demanded a ransom payable in bitcoin, attacked computers of the Atlanta city government in the southern state of Georgia. Police in South Africa, where violent crime is common, have reported a recent rise in kidnappings, although it is often wealthy business people who are targeted.