Kidnapping aimed at Bitcoin ransom payment by boy’s parents
An eight-year-old boy who was kidnapped in Ujire, in India’s Dakshina Kannada district, had a Bitcoin ransom request made by the criminals. Fortunately the boy was rescued in Kolar on Saturday. The accused are Ranjith, data entry operator at a software company, Hanumatu and Gangadhar, both taxi drivers, Kamal, mechanic, Manjunath, tailor, and Mahesh, painter.
They are in the 21-26 age group and come from Mandya, Mysuru, Bengaluru and Kolar. The search continues for a few more involved, including the brain behind the abduction. The boy and his grandfather AK Sivan were strolling near his home on Thursday night when four people got in a car and kidnapped the boy. Subsequently, the kidnappers called the boy’s father demanding a ransom of 100 Bitcoins (BTC), worth about $ 2,300,000.
Local news channels said the main defendant, whose identity has not been released, knew the boy’s father, Bijoy – who runs a hardware store – and they were in the same business until three years ago. He was aware that Bijoy was trading with Bitcoins and therefore demanded the ransom in cryptocurrencies with the intention of making tracking difficult. The principal accused hired four people for the job and promised to pay them close to half the ransom.
Police said they managed to arrest the accused after launching the investigation from several angles, including finding out who knew Bijoy was a Bitcoin dealer. The hijackers arrived in Kolar after traveling through Madikeri, Mandya and Bengaluru. They kept the boy at the home of an accused and did not hurt him. The boy also did not raise the alarm.
The authorities said that a further investigation would reveal whether the main accused had committed the crime solely through ransom or personal enmity. The police handed the boy over to his parents after obtaining permission from the Kolar magistrate.