SA brothers vanish after reportedly fleecing investors of R54b in Bitcoin
South African investors are extremely worried after a crypto disappearing act reportedly perpetrated by local platform Africrypt.
The company was formed in 2019 by the Cajee brothers, Ameer and Raees.
Moneyweb cites an analysis by Hanekom Attorneys which shows that around R54 billion ($3.6 billion) was swiped out of multiple wallets controlled by directors of the company "in a matter of hours".
The alleged Africrypt scam would be one of the biggest crypto heists the world has yet seen.
Hanekom Attorneys is representing a consortium of people who invested in what they thought was a bona fide crypto currency platform.
Bruce Whitfield gets the lowdown from company founder Darren Hanekom.
The platform was marketed as a way to connect banks, payment providers and digital asset exchanges with a view of making transfers seamless.Darren Hanekom, Founder - Hanekom Attorneys
This is a smaller consortium of people... so the investment pool is a lot larger... per person at least R1 million.Darren Hanekom, Founder - Hanekom Attorneys
Payments and deposits were made largely with a view of having returns in excess of 10% received per month.Darren Hanekom, Founder - Hanekom Attorneys
In this case it's not just Bitcoin - the innovation in technology also allows swaps to occur from Bitcoin to Etherium, from Etherium to others...Darren Hanekom, Founder - Hanekom Attorneys
The beautiful thing about blockchain is that it doesn't disappear, it's just in another place and no longer in the control of our clients.Darren Hanekom, Founder - Hanekom Attorneys
The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) has released a statement saying it is continuing to investigate related complaints.
The Authority says it needs to establish whether a financial product or service was offered to the public, which would have required Africrypt to be registered.
At this stage the FSCA has discovered only evidence of crypto asset transactions, which it cannot act on because crypto assets are currently not regulated in South Africa.
[Media Release]— FSCA (@FSCA_ZA) June 24, 2021
FSCA statement on recent concerns regarding investments made by the public in Africrypt (Pty) Ltd: https://t.co/NiaYOOFLW6
Bruce Whitfield interviews Brandon Topham, the FSCA's Divisional Executive for Investigations and Enforcement.
We've been trying to find the basis on which we could get involved. Fortunately, the case was put into provisional liquidation into the other day, so it took a bit of the urgency away.Brandon Topham, Divisional Executive: Investigations and Enforcement - FSCA
We've found... that there were contacts with a company in Hong Kong.Brandon Topham, Divisional Executive: Investigations and Enforcement - FSCA
Based on the returns that were promised... I'm confident it must have been a Ponzi because no legitimate operation would give you that type of return.Brandon Topham, Divisional Executive: Investigations and Enforcement - FSCA
As you know we are working on making it [crypto assets] a financial product to get some regulation...Brandon Topham, Divisional Executive: Investigations and Enforcement - FSCA
For more detail on the investigation into Africrypt, listen to the interviews below:
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