A cryptocurrency trader has been targeted by a criminal gang in South Africa. After being kidnapped and tortured, the victim eventually handed almost $60,000 in Bitcoin, along with cash and various other gadgets on his person at the time.
Known Bitcoin Trader Becomes Torture Victim in Robbery Case
According to reports in local news publication Soweto Urban, a Bitcoin trader from the town of Lanseria, South Africa, has become the victim of a kidnapping, robbery, and torture. The individual, identified only as “Andrew” in the report was targeted because of his known interest in cryptocurrency.
Andrew had met a man on Facebook who had expressed interest in hiring him to give a presentation on digital assets. He later met the same individual in person at Cresta Centre in Johannesburg and agreed to work with him at a later date.
On November 16 at around 1 p.m., Andrew arrived at the Meadowlands Zone Five address given to him by his new contact. At the residence were four men and two women presumed to be the audience for the presentation.
According to Andrew, shortly after arriving, he was approached from behind and had a cloth held over his mouth and nose. He quickly passed out, which leads those investigating the case to believe the material had been drugged.
Andrew regained consciousness in a different room in the company of five people – three men and two women. It was there that he was stripped naked, assaulted, received threats on his life, and tortured with hot irons.
The group demanded he transfer around R 800,000 worth of BTC (around $58,000) to an address given to him by his attackers. He eventually relented and transferred the Bitcoin along with a further R 100,000 from his bank account. In addition, the group took another R 3,000 in cash, two laptop computers, and a pair of iPhones. Andrew was then blindfolded and taken from the scene of his torture to Kliprivier Road on the R550 where he was left.
Andrew is currently receiving care for the injuries he sustained at the Alberton Union Hospital Intensive Care Unit. He has several burns to his hands, legs, and torso caused by the hot iron torture he endured. An investigation is underway to identify the attackers.
If You’ve Got It, Don’t Flaunt It!
At the start of this year, a known Bitcoin trader from Oxford, U.K. was forced to transfer his own Bitcoin holdings to home invaders after he and his wife’s lives were threatened at gun point.
Elsewhere, we reported on the Taiwanese man who was targeted by a criminal gang in connection with a Bitcoin trade. The victim had responded to a request to sell an individual BTC in person. Upon arrival at the arranged meeting point, the seller was assaulted and forced to transfer his crypto holdings to the group.
It should go without saying that extreme care needs to be taken when dealing with unknown contacts met online. This warning becomes even more important when the purpose of the meeting relates to money. In the examples discussed above, the attackers were aware of the victim’s involvement in the cryptocurrency space. Had this information not been so readily available, perhaps they could have been avoided all together.
In terms of personal security with regards cryptocurrencies, it is always best to keep your holdings a secret. Being overly vocal about your interest in the space or the amount of Bitcoin you possess is a serious security risk. When stored correctly, torture is the only way another individual or entity can take your Bitcoin.
Unfortunately from the above cases it seems like many criminals are wising up to this fact. It therefore makes most sense to behave modestly about investments and to never flaunt the fact that you are interested in the Bitcoin space.
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