Crime has shocked authorities in two countries and has an international investigation to determine the fate of the money.
A trader was kidnapped in the last few days and his family was threatened with international connections. To be released, the merchant paid in Bitcoin to be released from captivity where he was held.
The situation was tense during the kidnapping, which lasted at least five days. Police investigations are still being conducted into the crime and several authorities are participating.
The case, which happened in Argentina, shows how common the adoption of Bitcoin is in the country. To be released, the criminals asked their relatives for the amount of $35,000.
The merchant had been kidnapped on October 13.
Merchant paid in Bitcoin to be released from kidnapping
A serious case of extortion and kidnapping has occurred in Argentina in recent days. The country’s authorities are still investigating the case, including the Argentine Federal Police.
A 46-year-old merchant left his home and was on his way to his store on the 13th. In the middle of the way, he was approached by a gang of kidnappers, who approached his car, a Ford EcoSport.
The merchant owns the supermarket „Don Santiago“ in the city of Quilmes, near Buenos Aires. Upon arriving with the kidnappers in captivity, the man began to see his family being blackmailed to pay the ransom.
He drew the authorities‘ attention that the calls came from international numbers. They were numbers from Venezuela and Colombia, a fact that frightened the merchant’s relatives. In addition to calls, text messages and WhatsApp were sent by the kidnapped to the victim’s brother.
In principle, the kidnappers were asking for the sum of $650,000 to release the merchant, who was not named. The value, with the price of the dollar today, would give the equivalent of R$ 3635 million.
With the denunciation to the police authorities, the case ended up in the Federal Police and Departmental Delegations of Investigations (DDI) of Argentina and also in the National Police of Colombia.
After days of negotiation, it was agreed that the family would pay 4 Bitcoins for the rescue of the trader. The amount would be the equivalent of U$ 35 thousand, or R$ 195 thousand today.
Even after the „discount“, the kidnappers still wanted more money
According to the Argentinean portal Telam, despite the discount on the initial order, there was pressure for more money. Despite this, the kidnappers ended up giving in after seeing that there would be no more money and released the man in front of his market on the last 18th.
The kidnapping that lasted five days is a more emblematic case involving Bitcoin in Argentina now. The investigations, which arrested the wife of one of the participants, indicate that the gang is composed of three people.
According to information obtained by Telam, the police are looking to track down Bitcoin to know where it will end up. Thus, help has been requested from other countries and there is international cooperation to unravel the mystery.
It is worth mentioning that in Argentina today it is increasingly common for the population to use Bitcoin. Digital currency is one of the means that the population uses as a reserve of value, because the Argentine peso loses more and more its purchasing power.
Finally, in other kidnappings that requested Bitcoin in Argentina, there was no payment for the ransom. However, this is the first case already registered in the country of a kidnapping that effectively paid the ransom in digital currency.
In Brazil, the police recently dismantled a kidnapping that requested Bitcoin for the ransom of a woman. After 12 hours in captivity, the woman was finally released by the police and the prisoner of the crime.