Police busted a kidnapping gang for holding a person for ransom in Lahore, Pakistan. The ransom, demanded by kidnappers was a total of 25 million Pakistani Rupees, surprisingly in bitcoins. The police officials are also being involved in the case along with Faisal Yusaf, a student of information technology, who kidnapped Professor Shahid Nazir and demanded that the ransom should be paid in the form of digital asset, bitcoin. This might come in handy in order to remove any official proof that a certain amount was paid for ransom as cryptos are officially banned for use, all over Pakistan.
The kidnapping took place on 19th of March including, where a student of information technology, Faisal Yusaf, with involvement of the phone operator of the D.C. (Deputy Commissioner), Mazhar Abbas. The crime was plotted at the office of the D.C. as six members took the task to kidnap Professor Shahid Naseer and held him for ransom of 25 million PKR.
The executed plan was that they rented a car from another city and brought it to the DC officer where Mazhar Abbas, altered the license plates to a green one, referring to government official use. This did not brought any unnecessary attention to the vehicle as the culprits conducted their crime. Police constables were also said to be involved in the kidnapping. These two have been previously tasked for the security of a high court judge.
…South Asia is far behind in the cryptos race thanks to the feudal school of thoughts, criminal use of cryptos and negligence of the governments.
Nischal Shetty of WazirX talked to BlockPublisher over the prior mentioned crime and states that such acts can induce an everlasting damage to the crypto market. He further states that cryptos have originated from Asia (Satoshi Nakamoto coining bitcoin from Japan), and should have gained more popularity here than the west. However, countries like Pakistan and India, where cryptos have been banned, the digital assets are the mean for dark deals including contract killing and for ransoms as in this case. The reason that people use cryptos for these dark deals is the first major flaw of decentralization i.e. no single authority can oversee the dealings and the transactions. The criminals can easily transfer and transact cryptos without alerting the authorities.
At first, Pakistan didn’t welcome digital assets as it imposed a ban on them but now, the country announced its own stable coin. The State Bank of Pakistan, on 7th of April, 2018 put up a legal ban over the digital assets prohibiting their use all over the country with the people caught using these assets, be handed over to the police authorities for penalties and imprisonment. The concern raised up as India did the same previously and banned the transfer of the cryptos to fiats and vice versa i.e. banning the crypto exchanges throughout the country. The Pakistani government has been dealing with much fraudulent agents like corruption and similar other financial crisis.
READ MORE: Huge Cryptokidnapping Scam Hits India
The kidnappers contacted the impacted relatives and demanded for ransom. The family initially did manage to pay the kidnappers a total of 2.5 million PKR leaving still a lot to pay to complete the amount. Nevertheless, the police officials swiftly acted upon and managed to crack and trace the gang digitally and catch them in the act along with Professor Shahid, rescued. The D.C.’s phone operator was the main suspect of the crime and on 23rd of March, was arrested as he was attending a public ceremony with the D.C. himself.
A similar incident transpired in India where in the state of Gujrat, 9 police officers were arrested on 8th of April, 2018, on account of them kidnapping a business man and extorting him for 200 bitcoins. The case strikingly resembles this case featuring police involvement. Though these two cases were certainly not related in any way, the fear is that these incidents will catch fire and get ‘trendy’.