Man jailed for attempting to kidnap teenager for Bitcoin ransom

A KwaZulu-Natal man has been jailed for attempting to kidnap a child in Mpumalanga.
A KwaZulu-Natal man has been jailed for attempting to kidnap a child in Mpumalanga.
Image: 123rf.com/Tinnakorn Jorruang

A man who forcefully grabbed a 13-year-old girl and bundled her into a rented vehicle in Middelburg, Mpumalanga, on August 21 2018 has been jailed, the Hawks said on Wednesday.

Sthembiso Amon Mchunu, 36, was found guilty and sentenced to five years imprisonment in the Middelburg regional court on Monday for attempted kidnapping, said Capt Dineo Lucy Sekgotodi.

He was sentenced to an additional five years imprisonment, suspended for four years, on condition he is not found guilty of kidnapping or attempted kidnapping during the period of suspension. The court further declared Mchunu unfit to possess a firearm.

He was arrested during a police probe into child kidnapping in exchange for ransom demanded in bitcoin.

He and an accomplice dragged the teenager into their vehicle, but she shouted for help and was heard by a group of bricklayers working nearby. They came to her aid.

The suspects fled the scene, leaving their vehicle and belongings.

Mpumalanga Hawks boss Maj-Gen Zodwa Mokoena applauded the investigating team and the judiciary for securing the conviction.


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