A criminal gang which was functioning in India recently kidnapped and tortured cryptocurrency traders and also demanded 80 bitcoins as ransom have been arrested, at last, police say. This entire deal lasted for more than two weeks and came to a stop day before when seven people linked to the gang were arrested. The Hindustan Times newspaper reported that law enforcement in Jaipur city said the police operation on Sunday lasted for a good 13 hours.
Three men had been held captive for 15 days in a high-rise building and were beaten or tortured and harassed, deputy commissioner of police (DCP) Vikas Sharma told local media. The individuals who go by the name Luftan Shaikh, 19, Mohammad Shazad, 36 and Malang Shah, 44. The deputy commissioner said in a statement,
“The gang kidnapped Shaikh and Shazad, two bitcoin traders, and demanded 80 bitcoin worth ₹8 crore ($1.2 million). Shah was kidnapped two days later. The gang demanded ₹10 lakh ($15,000) from his family members.”
Police said officers were alerted to the scheme and a 20-minute chase resulted in the arrest of a suspect who was seen carrying a pistol in Bhakrota, a residential area in Jaipur. Reports indicate that this man told officers about the kidnapping and revealed the location of the apartment building.
India-based media outlet NDTV reported that the cryptocurrency traders had been lured into the region by gang members who claimed to be selling bitcoins at a low price. Sharma was quoted saying,
“[The gang] wanted to extort money from the trio. They held them hostage in the flat and had threatened to kill them if the demands were not met… Not even their family members were aware of the abduction. The victims had lost all hope because they had no access to anyone.”
Police are also said to have seized guns and SUVs from the criminals.