Bitcoin tracking helps rescue a kidnapped IT professor, police and an exchanger among suspects arrested

Bitcoin tracking has helped security agencies in Pakistan bring home an IT professor who was kidnapped by a gang requesting Bitcoin as ransom.

The professor was kidnapped last week on 19th and the kidnappers demanded that the family transfer Bitcoins worth 20 million rupees in exchange for the professor’s freedom. The gang comprised of 3 police officers, a Bitcoin exchanger, and one student in the professor’s class. The police officers were Mohsin Abbas and Mohammad Arif who are trusted with the security of a high court judge and Mazhar Abbas who works in the Deputy Commissioner’s office.

According to details released by the security official investigating the case, Faisal Yousuf, the professor’s IT student was the mastermind of the whole plan. The details reveal the car that was used to kidnap the academic was temporarily fitted with an official government license plate with Mazhar Abbas suspected to have conducted the number plate switch when the car was taken to the Deputy Commissioner’s office.

The academic was kept in a deserted warehouse until the following day when the kidnappers named their price; 20 million rupees. Having reported the case to the police, the family first made an initial payment of 2.5 rupees (approximately 17 thousand U.S dollars) in Bitcoin which is worth roughly 4 BTC.

While they waited for the family to ‘get in touch’ with more BTC, the police were busy performing Bitcoin tracking activities which led them to the kidnappers.

Pakistan is not a rare case that involves kidnapping, virtual currency, and the police. In India, a Bitcoin trader was kidnapped by police officials who made away with 200 BTC from the trader’s wallet.

As law enforcers continue to sharpen their skills in blockchain / Bitcoin tracking, do you think criminals will now start asking ransom in privacy-focused cryptos?

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