Two African brothers have disappeared, and so does the $3.6 billion in bitcoin from their cryptocurrency investment platform.
Biggest Scam In Bitcoin History?
Africrypt is a cryptocurrency investment platform based in South Africa. It was set up by Ameer Cajee and his brother. The pool offered huge returns for investors.
Back in April, around when BTC was riding high, Chief Operating Officer Cajee announced that the company was under a hack.
In the notification, however, Cajee asked investors not to seek legal help as it will slow down the recovery process.
It was immediately a red sign, and some investors hired Hanekom Attorneys, a law firm, to look into the case.
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Reports say that Africrypt employees lost access to backend servers a week before Cajee revealed the alleged hack to the investors.
Hanekom Attorneys found that the Bitcoin from the Africrypt pool has been sent through methods that make it hard to trace. Such methods include sending the coins to other large pools, or through tumblers and mixers.
The company website is down. And Cajee and his brother, Raees, have their phone numbers set to voicemail. They have disappeared, along with almost 69,000 Bitcoins.
Africa’s Finance Sector Conduct Authority is also looking into the case. However, as Bitcoin isn’t considered a legal financial asset, the organization hasn’t been able to launch a formal investigation.
Now, according to reports, Hanekom Attorneys has reported to the Hawks, an elite group of the police force, regarding the disappearance of the two brothers.
The law firm has also alerted global crypto exchanges to report if there are any attempts to sell off the stolen Bitcoins.
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This isn’t the first time something like this has happened in the country. Just last year, another company, Mirror Trading International, was involved in a case where investors had lost $1.2 billion in Bitcoins.
The nearly 69,000 Bitcoins stolen in the Africrypt case were worth more than $4 billion during April when the incident occurred. Around three times as much as the fraud in 2020, which was dubbed as the biggest cryptocurrency scam in 2020.
The African brothers scam is possibly the biggest in the entire history of the cryptocurrency, and it might provoke governments to become serious about crypto regulation.
Bitcoin is a little under $35k at the time of writing. The coin is up 4.1% in the past 24 hours, but down 7.6% in the last 7 days.
Here is a chart that shows how the price of the cryptocurrency has changed in the past few months:
Bitcoin seems to show a slight upwards trend | Source: BTCUSD on TradingView
Some experts believe we could see the currency drop down a bit, and then return on a bullish path.
However, nothing is clear at the moment, and it’s possible a bearish pattern might end up clawing the market.