Two South African brothers who ran a “cryptocurrency investment platform” disappeared with 69,000 bitcoins from the Africrypt platform. Bitcoin is worth 54 billion rand (approximately 3.6 billion US dollars).
The two brothers, Raees Cajee, 21, and Ameer Cajee, 18, are believed to have fled to the UK with the funds. Raees was the founder and CEO of Africrypt while Ameer was the COO of the platform which was founded in 2019.
According to local media reports, Africrypt has offered investors attractive and lucrative returns on their investments. Moneyweb reports that some investors have even been offered an outrageous 10% ROI per day.
Some clients are known to have invested 1.5 million rand, with a few up to 15 million rand and 20 million rand.
To hide the fact that they were running an elaborate scam, the Cajee brothers told potential investors that they were mining cryptocurrencies. They claimed to have mined over 100,000 coins of Ethereum using home computer systems.
The complaint was dismissed by experts who cite the high costs of electricity in South Africa and the instability of power generation capacities. For comparison, Hive Blockchain Technologies, a professional cryptocurrency mining company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, mined only 71,660 Ethereum coins in 2020.
The Cajee brothers’ alleged scam began to crumble in April when they claimed the investment platform had been hacked. The Cajee brothers have warned investors not to disclose the alleged hack to law enforcement officials. Ameer Cajee sent the following letter to clients,
We regret to inform you that due to the recent breach in our system, accounts receivable, client portfolios and nodes have all been compromised. At this point, we do not know to what extent customers’ personal information was breached in the attack.
Unfortunately, this forced Africrypt to shut down its operations. We have started the process to try to recover the stolen funds and compromised information. Our number one priority is to get the funds back as quickly as possible, however, this process is very careful and will take a long time, if successful. Additionally, we have started a full system audit to determine the extent of the violation.
We urge all customers to be patient while we try to resolve the current situation. It is understandable that customers can go the legal route, but we ask customers to please recognize that this will only delay the recovery process.
Customers will be kept informed of the progress of the recovery process and of any information regarding the parties involved in orchestrating the attack on our systems.
The Africrypt website has since been offline and all other communications have ceased.
However, some skeptical investors have hired a law firm, Hanekom Attorneys, to look into the matter. Commenting on the alleged hack, Hanekom Attorneys’ Daren Hanekom told Bloomberg Wealth,
“We were immediately suspicious as the announcement pleaded with investors not to take legal action.
“Africrypt employees lost access to back-end platforms seven days before the alleged hack. “
A lawyer report goes on to say,
“Rand 54 billion were transferred from his South African account (s) via bitcoin on the blockchain and unfortunately was entirely dissipated. While we are still investigating the transfer of funds with transactions on the blockchain active until the same date, during a first reconciliation it appears that the funds were subjected to various tumblers and mixers. of the dark web, leading to serious fragmentation. “
The case has since been reported to the Hawks, an elite unit of the South African National Police.
The Africrypt scam comes just a year after another South African Bitcoin trader, Mirror Trading International (MTI), collapsed with its customers losing around 23,000 digital coins, worth around 18 billion rand ($ 1.2 billion).
Articles you may want to read,