In a Bloomberg report issued in the late hours of yesterday, it was reported that Cape Town, South Africa-based cryptocurrency investment firm Africrypt had stolen nearly 70,000 bitcoins.
Where the two brothers “Amir” and “Ras Kaji”, the founders of the company and the money it carried from the investors, disappeared.
The biggest crypto scam in South Africa:
Bloomberg reports that users of the trading platform Africrypt have become victims of a massive bitcoin scam, in which 69,000 bitcoin units mysteriously disappeared.
At today’s prices, this large sum is worth about $2.3 billion.
The first signs of fraud appeared in mid-April when the value of bitcoin in dollars reached an all-time high and was trading at around $65,000.
At the same time, 69,000 bitcoins suddenly disappeared from the platform.
At the time, one of the founders – Amir Kaji – told users that the company had been the victim of a hack.
It went even further, asking customers not to report the incident to the authorities or lawyers as this would slow down the finding of the lost cryptocurrency.
Despite this, some investors were skeptical about the hack and began investigating the case with the help of Hanekom Attorneys, which suspended the company shortly after, stating:
We soon became suspicious because the announcement called on investors not to take legal action.
Africarypt employees lost access to back-end control panels seven days before the alleged hack.
During the investigation, Hanekom’s lawyers discovered that the missing amount of bitcoin had been transferred from South African clients’ wallets to other large groups and addresses.
At the time of this writing, the whereabouts of the two brothers are still unknown, while Africrypt is down.
How did the scam happen?
The Cape Town bitcoin scam is very reminiscent of a scam that happened on the Turkish cryptocurrency exchange Thodex a few months ago, in which the platform’s administrator disappeared with users’ funds.
The Turkish authorities took the “Thodex” case seriously and immediately began investigating it.
At the beginning of May, they reported that six suspects linked to the fraud would be sent to prison.
Interestingly, two of them were the brother and sister of the CEO of the company.
The founder and director of the platform, Faruk Ozer, may still be at large, but Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu confirmed that officials are making great efforts to arrest him also while searching for him in four different countries.