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Following the surge in “lightning kidnappings,” the Central Bank of Brazil was forced to restrict the use of its Pix instant payment platform. In this case, citizens were robbed from the street and forced to make cash transfers for release.
The groundbreaking Pix system was launched at the end of last year and has almost received universal praise, but criminal groups have moved quickly to take advantage of this new technology.
In a country where citizens have long struggled with the slow and expensive digital payment systems of traditional banks, instant Pix technology is hailed as a game-changing technology. Nearly 100 million Brazilians have used the platform to pay bills and transfer cash.
However, due to the surge in lightning kidnappings, the central bank is now forced to impose restrictions on the 24/7 system that has been so far.
“These lightning kidnappings are a dormant state. But since Pix entered the market in November last year, we have noticed a significant increase in cases,” Tarsio Severo, investigator of the São Paulo Special Police Operations Department, told local media, adding that the police had arrested 100 people involved in the case. suspects. Such cases have been since January.
In the first six months of this year, the state-home to 44 million of Brazil’s 211 million people-reported a nearly 40% increase in lightning kidnappings, prompting several banks to lobby the Central Bank (BCB) to strengthen security measures.
Last week, it announced a series of actions, including a transfer limit of $200 between individuals between 8pm and 6am; setting a minimum waiting time to increase the transfer limit; users can set different transactions during the day and night Limit, robbery is more common at this time.
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Kidnapping has long plagued Brazil, but it was particularly prominent in Sao Paulo and Brazil at the beginning of this century. Rio de janeiro. Under normal circumstances, the wealthy are targeted when they leave their homes or offices, and they are either taken directly to the ATM to withdraw money or detained for a larger ransom. Many kidnappings ended in violence, and wealthy Brazilians now often drive cars with bulletproof and tinted windows as a preventive measure.
“In the past, gangs carried out kidnappings and brought people to ATMs. But now with Pix, the central bank has put ATMs in people’s phones. Crimes will always find the easiest way,” Rafi of the Brazilian Public Safety Forum Said Rafael Alcadipani.
“The central bank’s measures are positive because they help improve the security of the system, but they don’t solve the problem. You need to invest in the police and reforms so that criminals can really face the law. We need to improve social conditions. Like Brazil. Unequal countries will always have such problems.”
Additional reporting by Carolina Pulis