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Man Arrested After Kidnapping Boy Who Held Bitcoin

Bitcoin’s fast price appreciation has made it an attractive asset to investors but also criminals. Recently, the police arrested a man after the kidnapping of a schoolboy he knew had made significant money trading cryptocurrency. The case highlights the importance of keeping one’s earnings to himself, especially one’s digital assets.

What Happened?

As The Guardian reports, a gang of criminals in Bradford, UK, kidnapped the boy. Next, they demanded a $10,000 ransom payment from the boy’s parents for his safe return.

Then they took the boy, whose ID remains anonymous for legal reasons, to Bradford UK about five months ago. Apparently, they snatched the fourteen-year-old outside of a takeaway restaurant and bundled him into a car. After one of the men muffled the boy with his hand, the other punched him. Lastly, they forced him into the back of a Toyota Auris.

Muhammad Khubaib, the car’s owner, locked the vehicle inside. Meanwhile, two other men sat at the boy’s sides. He also punched the boy in the face with a glove full of sand.

In court, prosecutor Laura McBride alleged that they forced the boy to phone his mother for money. Unless she would hand over $10,000, Khubaib told her that the boy “wouldn’t be coming home.”

The men and the mother agreed to give over $900 in exchange for the boy. Then, the men drove to the mother’s house, where they exchanged the kid for money.

The mother reported the incident to the police. Just a few days later, the police arrested Khubaib. In court, Khubaib pleaded guilty to kidnapping and blackmail and was sentenced to four years in prison.

Targeted For Bitcoin

According to Judge Richard Mansell QC of Bradford, the boy was “clearly targeted by the men.” They kidnapped him after finding social media posts of the boy talking about his crypto trades. Also, he’d made “a reasonable amount of money” trading Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Unsurprisingly, police officer Paul Maxwell said the incident has been very difficult for both the boy and his mother:

“The victim, a young teenager, was vulnerable to criminal exploitation, and Khubaib tried to exploit him for money. This was an incredibly distressing incident for both the victim and the victim’s mother, but thankfully both were not injured during the incident and have been given help and support by the police and partner agencies.”

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As a rapidly appreciating asset, Bitcoin is an attractive target for thieves and criminals. Though not directly applicable to this case, it is also a semi-popular tool for ransomware payments due to its irreversible transactions.

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