The family of a young woman kidnapped Saturday at the Asokoro area of Abuja paid $15000 in Bitcoins to secure her release, sources close to the negotiations have revealed.
Some gunmen kidnapped Miss Ai’shat Umar Ardo (Ummi), the daughter of Adamawa State politician, Dr. Umar Ardo, around 7:45pm at Blinkers Shopping Mall, Asokoro Abuja.
The father of the victim, Dr Ardo, who announced the kidnap of his daughter, said the kidnappers put her in an ash Camry and zoomed off.
Ardo, who is a cousin of former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, said: “My daughter, Ai’shat Umar Ardo (Ummi)), 24, was kidnapped at Blinkers Shopping mall, No. 46 Kwame Nkrumah crescent, Asokoro around 7:45pm yesterday. They put her in an ash Camry and zoomed off. Nothing is heard of her since, and no call is yet received from them. Your prayer is needed. Thank you.”
Ardo was one of five persons, including a lecturer and two teenagers, reported kidnapped over the weekend.
Also in custody of the suspected kidnappers is one Hannah Azuibuike, reportedly taken around 8.30 pm, near Habiba plaza in Maitama.
However, Ardo was released Monday morning following payment of the ransom.
Following the instructions of the kidnappers, the money was transferred in Bitcoins to an account in the Cayman Islands, a source familiar with the transaction said.
Bitcoins are hard to grace an this is a pointer that the gang behind the operation have international links.
“The kidnappers are mixed, according to the girl,” the source said. “They slapped her for speaking Fulfude to her father because they didn’t understand it. She thinks the gang include one igbira, one Edo who understands Yoruba and three Hausa speaking people. The person who negotiated spoke with American accent.”