Crypto News

Africrypt Founders Disappear with $3.6 Billion in Bitcoin

Africrypt, Africrypt Founders Disappear with $3.6 Billion in Bitcoin
Image by Sammy-Williams from Pixabay
  • South African brothers Ameer Cajee and Raees Cajee founded Africrypt in 2019.
  • The brothers offered lucrative returns on investments
  • The brothers claimed the website was hacked. They run off with $4 Billion in Bitcoin.
  • Investigations in the Africrypt scam continue.

Yerevan (CoinChapter.com) — Ameer Cajee and Raees Cajee, the two Africa-based brothers behind Africrypt, have reportedly disappeared with $3.6 billion worth of Bitcoin.

With a 69,000 BTC bounty reported, this makes it one of the biggest crypto thefts in South Africa.

Africrypt is a currency exchange service located in Johannesburg, South Africa. The company, which runs an app with the same name, was founded by the Cajee brothers in 2019. 

The Red Flag For Investors Came Earlier This Year 

The brothers raised the alleged stolen amount through various investments on the platform.

In April, the founders informed the investors that attackers had hacked the platform and the company was doing everything to retrieve the stolen funds. However, the message also urged investors not to report the issue to the authorities, prompting some investors to become suspicious.

Sensing mischief, investors hired the Hanekom Attorneys law firm to investigate the incident.

Employees at the firm allege that they unexpectedly lost access to back-end platforms. A week later, the founder revealed the news of the hack. The country’s national police force took the case, and investigations are still underway.

The police contacted crypto exchanges to protect the investors from ensuring that the brothers don’t liquidate the funds. This was an attempt to curb any attempts to sell the stolen bitcoins. The stolen assets were likely sent through untraceable mechanisms. Additionally, the website of the company was shut down since the incident.

Africrypt, Africrypt Founders Disappear with $3.6 Billion in Bitcoin
The message sent to investors by Africrypt in April

An Offer Too Good To Be True

While some competing platforms, also found to be scams, offered much lower returns, Africrypt’s offer was very tempting.

For instance, Mirror Internation Trading (MTI) offered returns of up to 10% a month. It later became the world’s biggest crypto scam of 2020, having roped in $588 million worth of bitcoin across 470 000 transactions. In contrast, Africrypt claimed to offer clients profits of 10% a day.

Because it delivered on its promise for over a year, other investors readily joined in, thinking they had struck gold. This was until April. Then the founder’s pulled the rug from under their feet.

The Cajee brothers, in the meantime, have reportedly found safe-haven in the United Kingdom and are successfully avoiding the South African Authorities.

The Silver Lining

Crypto theft and Ponzi Schemes are becoming increasingly popular.

Earlier this year, Faruk Fatih Ozer, a 27 years old Turkish cryptocurrency trader, reportedly fled the country with $2 billion of his investors’ assets, which he garnered from fraudulent sales. In addition, other popular scams, like BitConnect, CentraTech, Pincoin, and Onecoin, have made investors suspicious of the crypto sector.

Increasing demands of regulations followed the scams. Against the backdrop of the latest scam by the Africrypt founders in South Africa, the country’s Fintech Working Group has called for the regulation of crypto exchanges in the country.

While it is terrible that such scams continue to take place, they will only hasten the process of implementing regulations globally.

Maybe, after all, every bad cloud comes with a silver lining.

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Karen Mkrtchyan

Yerevan-based Editor and writer focusing on topics about politics and international relations. Having completed his Bachelors and Masters degrees from Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University, he currently works as a Projects Coordinator at Indo-Armenian Friendship NGO and the Indian Cultural Centre, Armenia. He regularly writes articles for Armenian media platforms and is the English language Editor of Keghart, a reputed Armenian Diaspora news platform based in Canada. As a young activist, he was awarded "The Best Active Youth International Award" by the Afghanistan Youth Parliament. He is also the Media in charge of the Youth Wing of Bright Armenia Party, the third-largest political party in the Armenian Parliament.

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