Kidnappers Free Cryptocurrency Boss After Paying $1M Bitcoin Ransom



The CEO of EXMO finances, Pavel Lerner has been released by his abductors after a ransom of $1 million in bitcoin was paid for his release.

Pavel lerner, a blockchain expert and analyst was kidnapped on Dec 26 in Kiev, Ukraine when a group of armed men in balaclavas dragged him into a black Mercedes-Benz near his work place. Two days after his kidnap, EXMO finances suffered heavy DDoS attacks from unknown cyber-attackers.

"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. The minister who described the attack as a "bitcoin kidnapping", said that Pavel has since been released but was in a state of shock.


The minister said that they had "operative information that he paid more than $1 million worth of bitcoins" as ransom. Though it is not clear where the ransom came from, the company has made it clear in their statement that Pavel did not have access to the financial assets of the company.

Despite the Ukrainian ministers take on Mr Pavel's release, some Ukrainian and Russian media outlets quote other sources claiming that the abductors simply got scared when news of the kidnap got viral and so decided to let him go.

Regarding Pavel's state at the moment, the minister said that he was safe and "there was no physical harm inflicted on him".

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