A criminal gang in South Africa which kidnapped a teenage boy on Sunday is demanding a ransom in bitcoin cryptocurrency of nearly $120,000, police have said.
Police spokesperson Leonard Hlathi said Katlego Marite, 13, was dragged into a car while playing with two friends near his home in Witbank, a town in the eastern province of Mpumalanga on Sunday afternoon.
â€œThey demanded that the family should deposit a sum of 15 bitcoins, not in rands,â€ he told news channel eNCA.
â€œ(The parents) donâ€™t even know what these bitcoins are. They are not dealing in those things. They are in tatters as we speak.â€
Although police in South Africa have reported a recent rise in kidnappings, the ransom demand in cryptocurrency appears to be a first.
In December, kidnappers in Ukraine received a ransom worth more than one million in dollars bitcoins for releasing their victim â€“ an employee of a British cryptocurrency exchange. (Reuters/NAN)