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December 12, 2019
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Kidnappers of Popular Belgian Backpacker Demand $300,000 Bitcoin Ransom

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There has been some progress within the case of Theo Hayez, a Belgian teenage backpacker who was kidnapped whereas visiting Australia. 

Hayez was kidnapped on May 31, after he was final seen leaving a Cheeky Monkeys location within the Australian city of Byron Bay. Since then, a extremely publicized seek for the teenager has been on, with each locals, legislation enforcement officers, and a few of his followers becoming a member of in on the unsuccessful makes an attempt to find his whereabouts. 

However, a report by Australian information medium The Lighthouse informs that the household of the 18-year-old has gotten ransom messages from the supposed kidnappers, who requested to be paid over $300,000 in Bitcoin. Per the information medium, one of the letters was despatched to Hayez’s godfather, Jean-Philippe Pector, and it was reportedly despatched from a person who recognized himself as Mike Larry.

The message reportedly stated, “We have Theo. I am aware how scary this message is going to be. This is not a hoax … your son is kidnapped.” The message went on to make clear that Theo needed to be moved out of the Byron Bay Area as a result of in depth protection that his case had gotten and the efforts that had been out into the seek for him. The kidnapper additionally ascertained that the teenager continues to be high-quality, and he’ll stay in that state so long as the household complies along with his needs. 

Doubts over the veracity of the claims 

Speaking on his state of thoughts, Pector claimed that he was in shock, as he started to weigh the chances of the claims being true. He instantly reported the messages to the police, who endorsed that he shouldn’t make any additional makes an attempt at contacting the abductors.

Detectives had been additionally capable of uncover that the messages had been coming all the best way from South Africa, though they consider that the abductors have been utilizing Virtual Private Networks to hide his location. Pector added that he went on Facebook to go looking the abductors’ identify, however the account he discovered was devoid of any helpful info. He additionally confirmed that related messages had been despatched to Theo’s different members of the family and his girlfriend. 

Australia Is a Crypto Crime Hotspot  

While cryptocurrency crimes aren’t so rampant in Australia, there have been some moderately nasty circumstances nonetheless. In August of this yr, Katherine Nguyen, a citizen of the nation, pleaded responsible to stealing about $450,000 in XRP again in January 2018. According to a report from native information channel 7News Sydney on the time, she hacked into the Email of a person who had the identical final identify as her, stole his pockets password, and proceeded to empty the complete factor of its content material. 

However, the truth that there aren’t many cryptocurrency crimes is not any excuse for folks to start. It additionally serves as a word of warning for the federal government to nip this within the bud earlier than issues get out of hand. Canada was once comparatively peaceable and welcoming to cryptocurrencies and blockchain innovation, however after the speed of scams and thefts started to climb, Vancouver mayor Kenney Stewart issued a menace that he may ban Bitcoin ATMs solely.  

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