South African Man Arrested Following Bitcoin Ransom Kidnapping

Michael LaVere
  • A South African man has been arrested for the attempted kidnapping of a 13-year-old girl in August 2018.
  • Police say the teenage victim was going to be held ransom in exchange for bitcoin. 

A South African man has been imprisoned following his attempt to kidnap and ransom a 13-year-old girl for bitcoin. 

According to a report by local news outlet Times Live, Sthembiso Amon Mchunu, 36, was found guilty and sentenced to five years imprisonment for his attempted kidnapping in August 2018.

Mchunu and an accomplice forcefully grabbed the teenage girl and bundled her into a rented vehicle in Middleburg, Mpumalanga. The victim was able to shout for help and alerted a nearby group of bricklayers who came to her aid. 

While the suspects initially fled the scene, leaving behind their vehicle and belongings, authorities were able to arrest Mchunu following a probe into child kidnappings. The report claims that Mchunu was planning to ransom the victim in exchange for an undisclosed sum of bitcoin. 

Bitcoin-ransomed kidnappings have become increasingly prevalent. In January, a Singaporean crypto consultant was kidnapped and ransomed for $1 million in BTC while on a business trip to Thailand. 

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