Pavel Lerner, the director of the EXMO cryptocurrency exchange, who was abducted on December 27th 2017 has been released after a ransom of one million dollars in bitcoins was paid to the kidnappers, according to the Financial Times.
Lerner was kidnapped when he left his office in Kiev and taken away in a black Mercedes.
The Financial Times communicated with Anton Gerashenko, the Ukrainian Minister of Internal Affairs. Gerashenko said: “He was kidnapped by an armed gang with the purpose to extort bitcoins. We have operational information that he paid more than one million dollars in bitcoins.”
Lerner’s exchange EXMO published an official statement regarding the Lerner’s abduction: “At this moment he is safe and did not suffer any physical violence. Still, Pavel is currently in a very stressful situation and therefore will not be giving any official statements in the next days.”
The company did not mention the ransom paid to the kidnappers and added the abduction will not affect the operation of EXMO in any way: “We would also like to point out that this event in EXMO did not involve any access to the financial assets of our users. Regardless of everything, the platform continues with its normal functioning.”
However, according to the official Twitter account of EXMO, the exchange was under a DDoS attack just after the abduction, on December 28th.
According to the company’s statement, the search for the kidnappers continues and their identity is still unknown.