The cryptocurrency investment company in Cape Town, South Africa – Africrypt – allegedly stole nearly 70,000 bitcoins. The two brothers Ameer and Raees Cajee, who are the founders of the firm, have disappeared.
The Biggest Crypto Scam in South Africa
Bloomberg reported that the customers of the South African trading venue – Africrypt – became victims of a major bitcoin scam, in which 69,000 coins mysteriously vanished. With today’s prices, this substantial amount is worth about $2.3 billion.
The first signs of the fraud emerged in mid-April when the dollar value of bitcoin reached its ATH and traded at about $65,000. At the same time, 69,000 coins suddenly disappeared from the platform. However, one of the founders – Ameer Cajee – told the users that the company was a victim of a hack.
He went further, asking the customers not to report the incident to authorities or lawyers as it would slow down finding the missing assets.
Some of the investors, though, were skeptical about Cajee’s hack version and started investigating the case with the help of the law firm Hanekom Attorneys. The company commented shortly after:
”We were immediately suspicious as the announcement implored investors not to take legal action. Africrypt employees lost access to the back-end platforms seven days before the alleged hack.”
During the investigation, Hanekom Attorneys found out that the missing amount of BTC was transferred from its South African client wallets to other large bitcoin pools. The operation made them basically untraceable.
At the time of this writing, the location of the two brothers is still unknown, while the website of Africrypt is down.
Where Else Have Such Scams Occurred?
The bitcoin scam in Cape Town much reminds of the one with the Turkish crypto exchange Thodex a few months ago. As CryptoPotato reported, nearly 400,000 users of the trading venue were left out of their accounts without being able to withdraw their funds.
Furthermore, the platform’s website was down for several days, while local officials suggested its CEO – Faruk Fatih Özer – had already fled the country with up to $2 billion in digital assets.
The Turkish authorities took the Thodex affair very seriously and immediately started investigating it. At the beginning of May, they reported that six suspects connected to the fraud would be sent to prison. Interestingly, two of them were the brother and the sister of the company’s CEO.
Faruk Özer might be still at large, but the Interior Minister of Turkey Suleyman Soylu assured that the officials are putting great efforts into catching him too as they search for him in four different countries:
”When he is caught with the red notice, we have extradition arrangements with a large part of these countries. God willing he will be caught and he will be returned.”
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