In April, Africrypt customers were informed about an alleged hack.
Lawyers hired by the investors try to contact the Cajee brothers.
The brothers Ameer and Raees Cajee, co-founders of the South African investment platform Africrypt, have disappeared. And with them, some 69,000 bitcoins from their investors, according to various reports.
The Cajee brothers reportedly notified their clients in April this year about an alleged hack. Bloomberg says, after contacting lawyers hired by the investors, that the notice of Ameer, the eldest of the brothers, asked clients not reporting the theft to the authorities. According to the statement, that would slow down the process of recovering the affected funds.
A group of investors, skeptical of such a statement, contacted the law firm Hanekom Attorneys, to take the case. In their investigations, the lawyers found various suspicious indications, such as the fact that Africrypt employees they lost access to the platform’s system a week before the alleged theft.
None of the Cajee brothers has shown their faces. Attempts to contact the lawyers have been unsuccessful and calls to the phones of both they are constantly redirected to the voice mailbox.
The Cape Town-based law firm reportedly contacted an elite unit of the South African national police, known as the Falcons, to try to locate the alleged scammers.
The investigation also found that the funds came out of the Africrypt wallets, and later go through mixing services and other platforms, making tracking difficult of lost BTC. Meanwhile, the platform’s website listed on Crunchbase is down.
According to African media such as bitcoinke.io, the Cajees were known for sharing photos of their ostentatious lifestyle on social media. Meanwhile, The South African newspaper shared a photo of the two at what appears to be a racing event. Other images, linked from Instagram, were deleted.
Ameer and Raees Cajee, at an event. Source: The South African.
One of the biggest bitcoin heists in history
The 69,000 bitcoins allegedly stolen by the Cajee brothers amounted to more than $ 4.4 billion in April, during the peak that took the cryptocurrency to a new all-time high in price, above $ 64,000 per unit.
This would be the biggest bitcoin heist in history, if we look at its dollar equivalent. However, the total BTC stolen from investors on the platform is well below the hundreds of thousands of bitcoins stolen during the Mt. Gox hacks in 2011 and 2014; or the almost 120,000 BTC that they stole from Bitfinex in 2016. But with bitcoin having a lower price, the dollar figure does not reach that of Africrypt.
Between 2019 and 2020, there were two major thefts of BTC and other cryptocurrencies in China. As CriptoNoticias reviewed, a scam by the creators of the WoToken ponzi would have generated the theft of about $ 1.1 billion through the theft of 46,000 bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies of the company’s clients.
The previous year, PlusToken jumped into the public arena for stealing hundreds of thousands of BTC. More than $ 3 billion was stolen, not only in BTC but in other cryptocurrencies, such as ether (ETH), EOS, and the Ripple coin (XRP).