Two Bitcoin traders who had been held in captivity for over two weeks in Jaipur, India have been freed.
According to the Hindustan Times , the two Bitcoin traders, Luftan Shaikh and Mohammad Shazad had been kidnapped alongside a nonprofit employee. The abductors had been demanding 80 Bitcoins from the family members of the kidnapping victims, per a senior police officer in Jaipur:
The gang kidnapped Shaikh and Shazad, two bitcoin traders, and demanded 80 bitcoins worth 8 crore [about $115,000].
The three had been held on a ninth-floor flat by a gang of eleven members. Seven of the gang members were arrested while four escaped. Police tracked down the kidnappers while investigating a carjacking incident.
While the Jaipur kidnapping victims were tortured and had to be taken for treatment after being rescued, they had a happier ending compared to other high-profile cases where abductors were demanding the ransom to be paid in Bitcoin.
For instance, the wife of Norwegian Tom Hagen, Anne-Elisabeth Falkevik, went missing late last year. A ransom demand of approximately $10 million, to be paid in Monero cryptocurrency was subsequently made. However, she is still missing and is suspected to have been killed .
American businessman William Sean Creighton Kopko was also kidnapped in Costa Rica last year and a ransom demand of Bitcoin worth nearly $1 million made. The payment was sent but he is still missing nearly a year later.
Prior to their release early Sunday morning, the two Bitcoin traders had been in captivity for around 15 days. This means that they have probably been in the dark regarding developments in India’s cryptocurrency scene since the start of July.
While they will not find an unrecognizable cryptocurrency scene, any hopes they might have harbored of the Indian government becoming more crypto-friendly will now diminish even further once they catch up with developments.
One of these developments involves that India has made it plainly clear that it will remain hostile to cryptocurrencies regardless of the backer. This became apparent after India’s Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Garg hinted that the world’s second-most populous country would not welcome Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency with open arms citing the government’s discomfort with crypto.
Days later, a Facebook spokesperson disclosed the social media giant had nixed plans to launch its cryptocurrency in India.