AfriCrypt, a South African cryptocurrency investment company, has reportedly defrauded around $3.6-billion in investor funds after the company made claims that its trading systems had been hacked.
Investors in AfriCrypt reportedly count amongst South African celebrities and other high profile individuals. In a matter of hours the staggering monetary amount, around R54-billion, seemingly disappeared without a trace on 13 April.
$3.6-Billion in Stolen Cryptocurrency
Shortly after claiming that its systems had been shut down by a hack, AfriCrypt’s teenage “directors”, brothers, Ameer and Raees Cajee (17 and 20, respectively) allegedly transferred all investor funds from their South African bank account before fleeing to the UK, reports Independent Media.
AfriCrypt investors lost access to the system’s back-end after the company announced the data “hack”. Effectively losing the money they invested.
“We regret to inform you that due to the recent breach in our system, client accounts, client wallets and nodes were all compromised,” a statement from the Cajee brothers read.
“Unfortunately, this has forced Africrypt to halt operations … We urge all clients to please be patient as we attempt to resolve the situation. It is understandable that clients may proceed the legal route, but we ask clients to please acknowledge that this will only delay the recovery process.”
After the money disappeared, an investigation was launched by Hanekom Attorneys on behalf of clients involved in the heist. The investigation is still ongoing.
Usage of Crypto Mixers
Bitcoin.com reports that the Cajee brothers had been allegedly using Crypto Mixers to obfuscate the flow of the funds. Evidence of dark web mixers was found by Hanekom Attorneys.
Darren Hanekom, representing Hanekom Attorneys, says that the bank account holding the funds had rapidly been drained and that it is possible that “the entirety of investors’ funds” may have been subjected to the crypto mixing in an effort to make the money untraceable.
The Gauteng South High Court, South Africa, has since granted a provisional liquidation order against the two brothers in favour of about 20 investors who lost considerable amounts due to the alleged scam.
The brothers have until 19 July 2021 to argue against the liquidation. However, the funds themselves are still nowhere to be found.