A Russian crypto miner was reportedly kidnapped on Christmas day and was told he would be framed for drug crimes if a 15 million ruble ($164,000) ransom wasn’t paid.
The events were reported by Russian news outlet Ren TV. The 23-year-old was kidnapped outside his home in Izhevsk and bundled into a car by three men, reports say.
The kidnappers drove to an unknown location before calling the victim’s brother on Telegram, demanding over 15 million rubles in exchange for his freedom. The men reportedly threatened to frame the victim by planting drugs and handing him over to the police if the brother failed to comply.
According to the outlet, one of the kidnappers is said to have known the hostage personally. The car used to carry out the kidnapping may have also been stolen, as it appears to be registered to a pensioner living in Perm.
The three men are said to hold criminal records relating to robbery and extortion. Police have detained the alleged kidnappers, who now face up to 12 years behind bars.
Crypto-related kidnappings are nothing new. Amid the bankruptcy of a self-proclaimed ‘Crypto King’ Aiden Pleterski — a man accused of stealing $40 million — his disgruntled investors reportedly kidnapped and beat him.
In a separate case from May, a crypto investor holidaying in Spain was held hostage by armed kidnappers. The group sought a million-dollar ransom in exchange for the man’s freedom and even prepared a room for butchery.