A manhunt is currently underway for the kidnappers of a 65-year-old Cape Town businessman, who are reportedly demanding a ransom in Bitcoin.
According to News24, Liyaqat Parker, a founding member of the Food Property Group, was kidnapped from his business in Fairway Close in N1 City, Parow, on Monday (July 9).
It was carried out by five armed, unknown men, per the report.
Now it looks the party responsible have revealed the asking price that will secure Parker’s release, and it’s a hefty one.
News24 has more:
A source close to the investigation said kidnappers had demanded 50 Bitcoins, about R4,3 million.
This was as Netwerk24 reported that the kidnappers made the demand for the hefty ransom via email on Tuesday [July 10], according to sources.
These kidnappers are not playing around.
Their demand that the ransom should be made through cryptocurrency instead of physical money is a ballsy move, but it makes sense when one considers that Bitcoin is highly difficult to trace.
Take the case of the Mpumalanga teen kidnapped in May this year: a ransom of 15 Bitcoins (equivalent to R1,5 million back then) was demanded to secure his release.
In other words, these syndicates know how to cash in on kidnappings, preying especially on wealthy businessmen like Parker (pictured below) to make a profit.
However, Western Cape police spokesperson Captain FC van Wyk has yet to confirm if this ransom demand was received, and said that there are yet to be any new developments in the case:
This case is also investigated by our provincial detectives. Please bear with us as we cannot divulge details of the investigation that has yet to be presented before a court of law.
Parker’s family released a statement on Tuesday, appealing for his release:
Our father and brother is an elderly man, so we also appeal to those who may be involved or know persons who may be connected with this crime, to just please release him unharmed before his health deteriorates
Liyaqat is a devoted family man, a known astute businessman who built up the business through sheer hard work over many years, a community worker and philanthropist, having served as a member of The Friends of the Children’s Hospital Association for several years.
Police are working around the clock to locate and bring Parker home.