On October 22, the family of billionaire Pearl Oriental Oil chairman Wong Yuk-Kwan paid Taiwanese kidnappers US$1.68 million in bitcoin after they threatened to “dig out the eyeballs or chop off the legs” of Yuk-Kwan, The Standard HK reports.
The 68-year old was abducted on September 20 by two men and was kept in an abandoned house in Kouhu township, Yunlin county in western Taiwan for 38 days, blindfolded and cuffed to a bed. A few days after the abduction, the Taiwanese kidnappers called and sent e-mails to Yuk-Kwan’s wife, asking for US$9 million in bitcoin to be sent in less than two weeks.
The leader of this operation is suspected to be Cai Wen-Li of the United Bamboo Gang that engages in kidnapping and extortion. The Taiwanese police additionally arrested fifteen other suspects, including local triad members and a village chief.
The local police and enforcement agencies are still unable to trace the origin of the transaction and couldn’t track the location of the bitcoin wallet account, which received the bitcoin ransom. Yuk-Kwan has been moved to a hospital where he is currently receiving medical treatment.
During his captivity, kidnappers burned Yuk-Kwan’s face with cigarettes and brutally attacked him, causing severe injuries to his body.
"Every day I felt I might not be able to see the sun the next day," Yuk-Kwan told South China Morning Post.
According to the Standard, the Hong Kong police and Taiwanese enforcement agencies will launch a joint investigation to track down the kidnappers responsible.
Cointelegraph will update the story as we receive more information from Hong Kong-based media outlets and enforcement agencies.