South African law enforcement agencies put two founders of the Africrypt cryptocurrency platform on the wanted list. They fleed with $3.6 billion in bitcoins belonging to users.
The creators of the alleged Ponzi scheme Africrypt are brothers Ameer and Raees Cajee, citizens of South Africa. The number of bitcoins that platform investors lost is estimated at 69,000 BTC.
This spring, Africrypt users faced massive problems with the withdrawal of funds. In April, Ameer Keiji announced that the company had fallen victim of a hack, but asked investors not to report the incident to the authorities, as it would make it more difficult to recover the funds. The strange request of the founder confused users, and a group of investors turned to the law firm Hanekom Attorneys for help in investigating and drafting a legal claim.
According to the case file, company employees lost access to the platform’s servers seven days before the founder publicly announced the hack. South African police intervened and contacted cryptocurrency exchanges to ensure funds would not be laundered through them. But the bitcoins stolen from Africrypt were sent not to crypto exchanges, but to mixers, making it difficult to track transactions.
Africrypt was launched in 2019. Users were promised high returns for depositing their cryptocurrencies.
The investor presentation says that 20-year-old Raees Cajee, one of the founders, came up with the project back in 2013 in a humble home near Johannesburg when he was only 13 years old. Amir Keiji served as COO for the project.
It is the largest cryptocurrency scam in South Africa and the entire African continent. Mirror Trading International, a South African trading firm, went bankrupt in 2020. The losses included 23,000 digital coins worth $1.2 billion. According to Chainalysis, this was the largest cryptocurrency loss in 2020.