According to a Bloomberg report (opens in new tab), Raees (20) and Ameer (17) Cajee, two South African brothers that founded Africrypt, have disappeared with $3.6 billion worth of Bitcoin. The alleged scam represents the biggest heist in cryptocurrency history, even larger than the $2 billion that recently vanished in Turkey.
Back in April when Bitcoin was skyrocketing, Ameer, the cryptocurrency investment company's CEO, informed Africrypt's investors that the company was reportedly hacked. He told them not to report the occurrence to the authorities or their lawyers, since it would only hamper the recovery process.
There is every indication that it was an inside job. Africrypt employees had lost access to the trading platform a week prior to the so-called hack. The siblings reportedly fled the country a few days before the hack as well. Africrypt's website went offline afterward, and the Cajee brothers were unreachable via their mobile numbers.
A group of worried investors have hired Hanekom Attorneys to look into the matter. According to the law firm's investigation, the scammers moved the pooled funds from Africrypt's South African accounts and clients' wallets to bitcoin tumblers and mixers. Therefore, the funds are almost impossible to trace.
South Africa’s Finance Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) is examining the Africrypt situation, but it didn't exactly launch a formal investigation. Unfortunately, cryptocurrency assets don't fall into the category of financial products in South Africa. Therefore, the FSCA doesn't have jurisdiction on the matter. However, the report has been handed over to The Hawks, a specialized police unit that combats organized crime.
This isn't the first time a South African Bitcoin trader has made the headlines. Just last year, the now-defunct Mirror Trading International (MTI) scammed investors out of 23,000 bitcoins, the equivalent to $1.2 billion. The only upside of all this that we can think of: No one needs to resort to guns or violence for this kind of heist. A few clicks here and there and you're broke and someone else is a multi-billionaire.