Following a developing story, posted earlier regarding the Kidnap of a UK based Russian citizen who was kidnapped on the 26th of December in Ukraine, it is now confirmed he has been released unharmed after the payment of a $1 M in bitcoin ransom to his kidnappers.
“This is the first of such case in Ukraine linked to Bitcoin” Anton Gerashchenko, advisor to the interior minister Arsen Avakov said on phone
It is yet to be determined who made the ransom payment, though it is more likely to be EXMO, the company he worked at in the UK. Mr Lerner is also said to have been released without any physical harm but due to stress, he cannot be expected to make any official statements in the coming days.
News about his kidnap was first released by strana.ua, a local news website which also stated that local authorities were trying all they could to make sure he is safe and released. The Police is said to be continuing with investigations to try to identify who the culprits of this kidnap are.
EXMO is a UK based cryptocurrency exchange with over 900,000 users as of December 2017. The site is said to be a major exchange for Russian rubble to Bitcoin. It also hosts a couple of other Russian related project and coins.
EXMO has been very silent after the release of Pavel and has refrained from providing any comments regarding what may have happened between the 26th and the 29th (day of Pavel’s release) or his current whereabouts.
It also said the company was hit on Thursday by a denial of service attack.
Who do you think made the payment of $1 M in Bitcoin for this release? Do you think as Bitcoin and the entire cryptocurrency market rises, we can expect to see more of such offline crimes within the space?
Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.