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Kidnapped Crypto Exchange Executive Reportedly Paid $1 Million Ransom in Bitcoin

Published: December 30, 2017
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Source: Gizmodo

Here’s one piece of evidence to suggest that cryptocurrency remains an extremely hot commodity despite recent crashes in the price of Bitcoin: Armed gang members kidnapped a top executive at U.K.-registered cryptocurrency exchange Exmo Finance this week and only released him after they were paid a $1 million equivalent ransom in bitcoins, the Financial Times reported.

Per the report, Exmo manager Pavel Lerner was accosted by men in dark clothes and balaclavas and shoved into a black car while near the company’s main offices in Kiev, Ukraine on Tuesday. He was freed by Thursday after giving his captors information on how to abscond with the $1 million in cryptocurrency.

“He was kidnapped by an armed gang for the purpose of extorting bitcoins,” Ukranian interior ministry adviser Anton Gerashchenko told FT. “... We have operative information that he paid more than $1m worth of bitcoins.”

Gerashchenko added Lerner was “released in a state of shock” and “very lucky that he remained alive.”

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