By Kaya 959 News
Two youngsters appear to have pulled off the biggest crypto-currency heist in South Africa.
Founders of AfriCrypt, a local cryptocurrency investment company, have allegedly defrauded investors of over R54 billion and fled to the UK.
Reports state that Ameer Cajee (17) and his brother Raess Cajee (20) allegedly transferred the pool funds from a SA account before fleeing.
The company claimed that its trading system had been hacked. Bloomberg reported that the matter has now been reported to Hawks.
A Cape Town law firm, hired by investors, said they could not locate the brothers. They have also shut down their website and are not taking investors’ calls.
Operations stopped in April
Ameer wrote to investors in April, telling them that the platform had been hacked and they had to stop operations.
He said the company was trying to recover the funds and would not inform police as that could delay the recovery process.
In a communication to clients, AfriCrypt said; “We regret to inform you that due to the recent breach in our system, client accounts, client wallets and nodes were all compromised.”
“Unfortunately, this has forced AfriCrypt to halt operations… We urge all clients to please be patient as we attempt to resolve the situation. It is understandable that clients may proceed the legal route, but we ask clients to please acknowledge that this will only delay the recovery process,” it said.
FNB denies banking relationship
FNB has since distanced itself from the investigation. This after investors were allegedly told to EFT deposit funds to AfriCrypt’s banking account – with the banking institution.
“FNB once again confirms that it does not have a banking relationship with AfriCrypt. Due to client confidentiality, FNB cannot provide any information on specific bank accounts,” said FNB Risk spokesperson, Nadiah Maharaj.
In a similar scenario last year, SA Bitcoin trader, Mirror Trading International, collapsed.
According to Bloomberg, “the losses there, involving about 23,000 digital coins, totaled about $1.2 billion in what was called the biggest crypto scam of 2020”.