Around 69,000 Bitcoin have disappeared from South African investment platform Africrypt-along with the two brothers who own the crypto firm.
Africrypt founders loot $ 3.6 billion
A new bitcoin scam from South Africa, where $ 3,6 billion has disappeared, is making headlines. Two brothers, the founders of Africrypt, a crypto investment firm in Cape Town, South Africa, have mysteriously disappeared.
Although the facts have yet to be confirmed in court, Bloomberg reports that it would be the biggest scam in the history of cryptocurrencies – if it turns out to be fraud and not, say, a hack. In any case, there were alarm signals, because users were promised daily returns of up to 10%.
AfriCrypt was founded and operated by brothers Ameer and Raees Cajee in 2019. On April 13, they sent a message to investors that the platform had been hacked – and then they had disappeared with BTC worth about 54 billion rand. Worth $ 3.6 billion at the time.
As reported, the brothers transferred the Africrypt money from the platform’s account. It all started in April 2021, when Bitcoin (BTC) was traded at its all-time high above $ 60,000.
According to the platform, it would cease operations while it “attempts to recover the stolen funds and compromised information.“
South African law firm Hanekom Attorneys, which took over the case on behalf of the affected users, says: It was suspicious that the message also contained a warning:
“Customers can take legal action, but we ask customers to note that this will only delay the recovery process.“
firm: “We were immediately suspicious as the announcement prompted investors not to take legal action,” Hanekom Attorneys said. The law firm also claims that ” Africrypt employees lost access to the back-end platforms seven days before the alleged hack.“
According to Hanekom Attorneys, the brothers transferred 69,000 BTC from AFRICRYPT’s accounts and customer wallets and then subjected the funds to “various dark web Tumblers and mixers, resulting in extreme fragmentation” to make the assets untraceable.
The South African Gauteng South High Court has issued a provisional liquidation order against the Cajee brothers and they have been given until 19 July 2021 to respond to the order. The law firm has reported the case to an elite unit of the national police, the “Hawks”.
South Africa’s FNB Bank allegedly facilitated transactions
According to African online crypto news outlet BitcoinKe, AfriCrypt was able to attract clients by targeting wealthy investors and pushing to recommend the platform to friends, while promising returns of up to 10% daily.
South Africa’s FNB Bank is reportedly activating all transactions for the crypto investment platform Africrypt. However, FNB spokesperson Nadiah Maharaj has denied any kind of relationship with Africrypt:
“FNB confirms once again that it has no banking relationship with Africrypt. Due to customer confidentiality, the FNB cannot provide information about specific bank accounts.“
The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA), one of the country’s main financial regulators, has also stated that the case is now outside its jurisdiction. According to reports, the FSCA believes that Africrypt does not provide financial goods or services.
The Independent Online, on the other hand, claims after their own research that both Cajee brothers fled to the United Kingdom because an account transfer was made to the United Kingdom before the alleged hack.
Text credit: Bitcoinist
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