A Bitcoin trader from Lanseria in South Africa narrowly escaped death after being drugged, beaten, and tortured by suspected kidnappers. Narrating his near-death experience in a report in local news outlet Soweto Urban, the man, who is known only as Andrew, was invited for a presentation on cryptocurrency through a new contact on Facebook. The presentation was held at Natui Street in Meadowlands Zone Five.
He is reported to have gone into the undisclosed residence at about 1 pm to conduct the presentation to an audience of six individuals. According to him, one of these people snuck up on him from behind and stuffed a cloth in his face — presumed to be soaked with a sleeping drug that made him unconscious. Later, having recovered from the influence of the drug, he woke up in a completely different residence. Here, he was surrounded by five people — two women and three men.
He was subsequently stripped of his clothes, beaten, and tortured by his kidnappers, based on the report. He alleged that his kidnappers demanded that he provide his First National Bank (FNB) account details as well as the password to his cryptocurrency wallet, threatening to sear him with a hot iron and kill him if he didn’t cooperate.
Andrew was at first adamant that he would not give up his crypto holdings, but he cracked under the pressure of the torture and made a wire transfer of R 800,000 (around $59,000) worth of Bitcoin to the kidnapper’s wallet address. He was also forced to transfer R 100,000 (around $7,200) to his assailant’s bank account, as well.
Andrew also lost R 3,000 (around $200) in cash, two iPhones and two laptops. When the raid was complete, he was blindfolded by the kidnappers and taken to Kliprivier Road, where he was dropped. He is currently in the intensive care unit of the Alberton Union Hospital, where he is being treated for his bruises and the burns all over his body. The case has been reported to the police and investigation is ongoing.
Earlier this year, 65-year old Cape Town businessman Liyaqat Parker was kidnapped and released only after his family had paid 50 bitcoins as the ransom for his freedom. The businessman spent over 50 days with the criminals, having been kidnapped at gunpoint, on his way to work.