Venezuelan kidnappers kill Venezuelan for not paying ransom in bitcoin

Key Facts:
  • The victim was kidnapped on August 10 and killed a day later.

  • Relatives collected 0.062 BTC, but the figure was not accepted by those involved.

A Venezuelan trader identified as Gustavo Torres Gonzalez, 39, was kidnapped and then murdered for not paying ransom in bitcoin (BTC). The murder was committed in the Simón Bolívar municipality of Zulia state, located about 650 kilometers west of Caracas in Venezuela.

Torres González, also known as “Tuto,” was kidnapped on Tuesday, Aug. 10, when he was on his way to his home in the Taparito sector. The men intercepted him while he was driving and then took him to an unknown location. Less than 24 hours later his body was found lifeless on 64th Avenue in Rafael Urdaneta parish, authorities said

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Unofficial versions indicate that those involved demanded the payment of 1.5 bitcoin (US$66,500) to free the hostage. Later, the kidnappers lowered the amount demanded to 0.5 BTC ($22,175). The trader’s relatives did not have sufficient funds, but managed to raise 0.062 BTC, or about $2,750, according to the CryptoNews price calculator

. Venezuelan kidnappers kill Venezuelan for not paying ransom in bitcoin Venezuelan kidnappers kill Venezuelan for not paying ransom in bitcoin Gustavo Torres Gonzalez, 39, was kidnapped and then murdered. His captors demanded 1.5 bitcoin to free him. Source: elpitazo.net

The figure collected

by the victim’s family and friends would not have been well regarded by the kidnappers who did not establish contact again. Hours later Torres Gonzalez’s body was found without vital signs and with 6 bullet wounds.

Preliminary information from the investigation suggests that those involved only accepted cryptocurrencies as a form of ransom payment. It is unclear whether the victim had any direct involvement with digital assets through mining, trading or as a means of payment. A review of his LinkedIn profile also shows no evidence that he had a close relationship with Bitcoin

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Local media reports

t was reported that the man was a computer engineer and that he offered wireless Internet access services. This work was done through his company TutoNet Investments in which he served as president since 2007.

Extortion and ransom payments with bitcoin

As bitcoin gains more adoption and recognition as an asset, means of payment or money, criminals have also become interested in the first cryptocurrency. For years CryptoNews has reported cases of kidnappings and extortion collections in BTC and other cryptocurrencies.

In 2019 an American businessman identified as William Sean Creighton Kopko, 43, was kidnapped and then murdered in Costa Rica. The victim’s family paid the ransom in bitcoin, but those involved in the event killed him despite receiving the funds.

Another case was reported in March last year when six kidnappers were sentenced to 50 years in prison. The criminals kidnapped a lawyer for 48 hours in the city of Chihuahua, northwestern Mexico, and demanded the ransom payment in bitcoin.