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Saturday, 30 December 2017

Crypto-Ransom!:Russian Bitcoin Expert Released After Paying Heavily

Pavel Lerner, the Russian Crypto Expert who was kidnapped by masked men near his Kiev office on Tuesday has been released after reportedly paying a Bitcoin ransom worth over a million USD. The Russian programmer was reportedly dropped of by a roadside and is in a state of shock. He has also declined to speak about the Kidnap which shocked Russians and Ukrainians.


Police sources said to Strana.ua, the Ukrainian website that broke the news when he was kidnapped that the IT expert was freed by his kidnappers. They were armed with Assault rifles and were putting on balaclavas. They also revealed that he was dragged into a van in broad daylight on a main street in the Ukrainian capital. The Vehicle; A black Mercedes Benz was with stolen registration number plates.

A high-ranking Ukrainian official revealed that Lerner was released after paying a ransom worth more than $1m in BTC. "He was kidnapped by an armed gang for the purpose of extorting bitcoins”, Anton Gerashchenko, advisor to the Ukrainian interior minister, told the Financial Times.

He said the attack was "Bitcoin Kidnapping" and revealed "Operative Information" about the amount Lerner dropped for his release.

The attack has stunned those in crypto-communities in Russia and Ukraine, where Lerner has businesses engaging in mining operations and working on Blockchain development projects.


Lerner is yet to talk about his abduction and release and attempts to contact him have been unsuccessful. The Ukrainian media though believe that he is remaining mute following instructions from security agents.“At the moment he is safe, and there was no physical harm inflicted on him. Nevertheless, Pavel is currently in a state of major stress, therefore, he will not provide any official comments in the coming days”, Exmo said in a statement published on its website.

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