Around 69,000 Bitcoin have disappeared from a South African investment platform along with two brothers who owned the crypto company.
Although the facts have yet to be proven in court, If it turns out to be an exit scam instead of a hack it would be the greatest ever, according to Bloomberg. Definitely, There were warning signs for investors as the users were apparently promised returns of up to 10% per day.
AfriCrypt was founded in 2019 and operated by brothers Ameer and Raees Cajee. Allegedly, It had amassed around R54 billion worth of BTC, or $ 3.6 billion at the time, when a message was sent to investors on April 13th that the platform had been hacked.
The company said it would cease operations while it began “trying to recover the stolen funds” and compromised information “.
The South African law firm Hanekom Attorneys, which was handling the case on behalf of the affected users, said that The suspicion was raised because the message contained the warning: “Customers can proceed legally, but we ask that you confirm that doing so will only delay the recovery process.”
“We were immediately suspicious as the announcement begged investors not to take legal action,” said Hanekom Attorneys at Law. The law firm also claimed that “Africrypt employees lost access to the back-end platforms seven days prior to the alleged hack.”
Hanekom lawyers claim the brothers transferred the 69,000 BTC -which after the recent drop in prices are now worth $ 2.2 billion- from AfriCrypt accounts and customer wallets and subjected the funds to “various tumblers and mixers in the dark web, which led to severe fragmentation” in order to make the funds undetectable.
The siblings could not be found– Calls to them go directly to voicemail and the AfriCrypt website is also unavailable. The company has reported the case of an elite national police force nicknamed “Hawks”.
The Supreme Court of Gauteng, South Africa, has issued a preliminary liquidation order against the Cajee brothers, and they were given until July 19, 2021 to respond to the order.
According to the African cryptocurrency news agency BitcoinKe, AfriCrypt attracted its clients by targeting high net worth investors and asking them to recommend the service to their friends while offering returns of up to 10% per day.
The staggering daily returns cast a shadow over the 10% per month promised to users of the South African cryptocurrency scam Mirror Trading International (MTI).
MTI has been described as the biggest Ponzi scam the country has ever seen: 23,000 BTC have allegedly been stolen from investors ($ 774 million at current prices) and MTI boss Johann Steynberg fled to Brazil to avoid punishment when the company was put into provisional liquidation in 2020.