A Venezuelan trader was kidnapped and killed after his family failed to receive a ransom, which the kidnappers specifically asked for in bitcoin. The perpetrators asked for 1.5 bitcoin to release the hostage and later lowered the ransom to 0.5 bitcoin. The victim’s family was ultimately unable to get the ransom.
Venezuelan citizen kidnapped, Bitcoin ransom demanded
A Venezuelan national identified as Gustavo Torres González was murdered yesterday when his family failed to obtain ransom money that the kidnappers were demanding in Bitcoin. According to police, Torres was kidnapped on August 10, while he was believed to be on his way home to Zulia state. The kidnappers quickly communicated with von Torres’ family and, according to local media, demanded 1.5 bitcoin to release him. However, his family was unable to collect the money, and in communicating with the kidnappers, they managed to lower the ransom to 0.5 bitcoin.
Still, tragically, this was a sum too high for his family who only managed to collect 0.062 bitcoin ($ 2,750). Torres’ body was later discovered on August 11 with six gunshot wounds on a local highway.
No obvious relationship with crypto
While the kidnappers specifically stated that they would only take the ransom in bitcoin, Torres had no apparent relationship with cryptocurrencies. He was the owner of a local ISP internet company in the area, Tutonet Investments. However, it is unclear whether the Venezuelan citizen had a relationship with cryptocurrency mining operations or whether he accepted payments in cryptocurrency for his services.
The popularity of the cryptocurrency in the country has led to an increase in fraud and crime involving these new assets. Cryptocurrencies can sometimes be more difficult to track than money moving down traditional fiat avenues due to their innovative design. Still, statistics show that the overwhelming majority of crimes are still committed with fiat money rather than cryptocurrencies.
It’s not the first time such a crime has happened. William Creighton, founder of an online gambling site called 5Dimes, was also kidnapped in Costa Rica in September 2018. Kidnappers asked for a $ 5 million ransom in bitcoin, but his family could only pay $ 1 million. His body was found a year later in a nearby cemetery, buried under an unnamed tombstone.
What do you think of this tragic story? Should Bitcoin be held responsible for violent crimes like this one? Let us know in the comments section below.
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