South Africa Crypto Trading Platform Disappear with $3.6 billion Bitcoin

The founder of Africacrypt, a cryptocurrency trading platform, Ameer and Raees Cajee, have reportedly disappeared with Bitcoin worth $3.6 billion from their cryptocurrency investment platform. According to a local media report, the law firm representing the investors based in Cape Town disclosed that they could not locate the two South African brothers and that the matter has been reported to the Hawks and elute unit of the national police force.

Also, it said the development had been escalated to all crypto exchanges across the globe should any attempt be made to convert the missing digital coins. Africrypt was launched in 2019 by the Cajee brothers promising investors prolific Returns on Investment (ROI). However, in April, amidst a significant surge in the prices of the world’s most popular cryptocurrency, Bitcoin Ameer Cajee, Africrypt Chief Operating Officer, announced that the company was a victim of a hack leading to the disappearances of about 69,000 coins that were worth more than $4 billion at the April peak. He also asked investors not to report the incident to authorities, explaining that doing so would slow down recovering the funds. Investors hired the Hanekom Attorneys law firm to investigate the incidents, as it was conceived to represent the biggest ever loss in a cryptocurrency scam.

“We were immediately suspicious as the announcement implored investors not to take legal action. Africrypt employees lost access to the back-end platforms seven days before the alleged hack,” – Hanekom Attorneys was quoted to have said.

Investigators noted the trading platforms pooled while transferred funds from its South Africa accounts and clients’ wallets. The coins went through tumblers and mixers or other large bitcoin pools to make them essentially untraceable.

Meanwhile, South Africans have been experienced persistent scams that ravage the crypto sector. Just last year, a notable scam, described as the world’s biggest cryptocurrency scam, was a jolt to South Africa’s crypto market. It was a turning point in the booming cryptocurrency industry. Until a suspected Ponzi scheme may have caused investors, traders to lose as much as $1.2billion worth of the most famous cryptocurrency (Bitcoin). A Mirror Trading Investment was placed in provisional liquidation in December 2020 and has since been described as the world’s biggest crypto crime last year by Blockchain researcher Chain analysis.

The crypto firm allegedly collected over 23,000 Bitcoin from investors, and its CEO fled to Brazil. Though the report as at that time says, South Africa has told the history of pyramid and Ponzi schemes scam, and crypto was the apparent new format approach by these scammers, which affected South African traders and investors. As a result of this scam, traders and investors were trading with skepticism and lost confidence in the market. This persistent scam has seen trading platforms operators criticized regulators for their approach to cryptocurrency regulation. This has been attributed to poor regulation and uncertainty over potential government regulation. They focus solely on the industry’s business aspect rather than protection for consumers, even though further proposals to regulate are expected before the end of the year.

However, this latest scam will further cause much havoc to the dwindling sector that consumers are gradually losing confidence in after experiencing two different cryptocurrency scam in the space of two years. Stakeholders have been calling on the South African government to regulate the industry properly. While the operators find it challenging to market their platforms to prospects, growth is not forthcoming due to scam cases, especially for open trading platforms.

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