South African brothers and founders of AfriCrypt’s have come out to deny the fact that they ran off with billions in customers funds, claiming they hid after receiving death threats from “dangerous people.”
The co-founder of AfriCrypt, a South African crypto investment site, Raees Cajee has disputed charges that he and his brother stole billions in investor cash, claiming that the platform was hacked and lost $5 million.
Last week, Cointelegraph revealed that AfriCrypt, an asset manager that began in 2019 and claimed to give daily returns of up to 10%, has been accused of vanishing with 69,000 BTC in investor assets in a mystery hack.
While AfriCrypt notified customers of the hack on April 13, doubts were immediately aroused when the message advised investors to refrain from taking legal action since it would delay the return of monies.Shortly after, the brothers reportedly shut down AfriCrypt and vanished.
On June 28, Raees spoke with The Wall Street Journal to refute the allegations leveled against AfriCrypt and its co-founders, claiming that the two went into hiding after receiving death threats from “very, very dangerous people.”
Raees also dismissed accusations that $3.6 billion in assets has gone missing, claiming that the firm only managed $200 million at its height in April and that just $5 million in investor funds has gone missing since the incident.
“At the height of the market, we were managing just over $200 million.”
The law firm defending AfriCrypt’s customers, Hanekom Attorneys, claims the brothers transferred $3.6 worth of BTC from AfriCrypt’s accounts and client wallets before moving the monies through “different dark web tumblers and mixers” to avoid being identified further.
If the claims against AfriCrypt are true, the occurrence would dwarf the losses from Mirror Trading International, a South African Ponzi scam that took in 23,000 BTC from naive investors in the country’s greatest documented crypto fraud to date.
The stolen BTC is worth $800 million at today’s pricing.The Cajee brothers’ lawyer, John Oosthuizen, told the BBC on June 26 that the pair has “categorically refuted” charges that they stole their investors’ money.
“They claim it was a hack and that these assets were stolen,” he added.
On June 24, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) of South Africa issued a statement about the case, saying that the initiative looked to exhibit Ponzi-like characteristics:
“This entity was offering exceptionally high and unrealistic returns akin to those offered by unlawful investment schemes commonly known as Ponzi’s.”
The FSCA, on the other hand, stated that it is unable to take action against AfriCrypt because crypto assets are currently unregulated in South Africa.
AfriCrypt’s liquidation is being sought by the second group of investors, according to the Wall Street Journal. The brothers plan to surface for a July 19 court hearing regarding their claims.