Indian Abductors Demanded Ransom In Bitcoin
Nine rogue police officers in India were arrested recently because they kidnapped and extorted money and bitcoins from a businessman, according to a report from April 08. The officers took around $49,12,000 in money and 200 bitcoins from the businessman in February.
At the time of the report, the total value of bitcoins stolen was Rs.1.9 crore (about $138,025). The businessman said that the thieves took him to an unknown location, and forced him to transfer the 200 bitcoins from his wallet to another digital address.
This is not the first crime of this type to happen in India. Just last month, a jewelry dealer made a complaint to the police claiming that bitcoins worth Rs.11.57 lakh (approximately $17,000) were taken from his online wallet at Zebpay. There have also been cases of cryptocurrency exchanges being hacked or fraudulent online transactions.
Bitcoin’s surge in the last part of 2017 has affected its valuation in India. In local cryptocurrency exchanges its price shot up because of growing trading volumes. Following the actions of other countries in the world, India’s central bank – Reserve Bank of India – has emitted warnings for the general public about the risks of bitcoin investments.
“Internationally, while the regulatory response to these tokens are not uniform, it is universally felt that they can seriously undermine the AML (anti-money laundering) and FATF (Financial Action Task Force) framework and adversely impact market integrity and capital control,” said RBI deputy governor BP Kanungo at a press conference last week.
But the legal status of the crypto is still undetermined. The country’s finance minister declared earlier this year that bitcoin was not legal transactions medium, and he also prohibited banks associated with it from getting involved in bitcoin-related transactions.
India is not the only place where bitcoin was asked for ransom. Just last year in UK an officer of cryptocurrency exchange was kidnapped and set free only after he paid the $1 million in bitcoin ransom.