69,000 BTC disappear along with creators of a bitcoin investment platform

11개월 전

Hello Everyone

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Cajee brothers, founders of Africrypt, disappeared with more than $4 billion in bitcoin


Key facts:

  • In April, Africrypt customers were informed about an alleged hack.

  • Lawyers hired by the investors attempt to contact the Cajee brothers.


Brothers Ameer and Raees Cajee, co-founders of the South African investment platform Africrypt, have disappeared. And with them, some 69,000 bitcoins of their investors, according to various reports.

The Cajee brothers reportedly notified their clients in April of this year about an alleged hack. Bloomberg says, after contacting lawyers hired by the investors, that the notification from Ameer, the eldest of the brothers, asked the clients not to report 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 up the case. In their investigations, the lawyers found several suspicious indications, such as the fact that Africrypt employees lost access to the platform's system a week before the alleged theft.

None of the Cajee brothers have come forward. Attempts to contact the lawyers have been unsuccessful and calls to the phones of both are constantly redirected to voicemail.

The Cape Town-based law firm has reportedly contacted an elite unit of the South African national police, known as the Hawks, in an attempt to locate the alleged fraudsters.

The investigation also turned up that the funds left Africrypt wallets, then went through mixing services and other platforms, making it difficult to trace the lost BTC. Meanwhile, the platform's website listed on Crunchbase, is down.

According to African media outlets such as bitcoinke.io, the Cajee 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.

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Ameer and Raees Cajee, at an event. Source: The South African.

One of the largest bitcoin thefts in history

The 69,000 bitcoins allegedly stolen by the Cajee brothers were equivalent to more than $4.4 billion in April, during the peak that pushed the cryptocurrency to a new all-time price high above $64,000 per unit.

This would be the largest bitcoin theft in history, if we look at its dollar equivalent. However, the total BTC stolen from investors on the platform is far below the hundreds of thousands of bitcoins stolen during the Mt. Gox hacks in 2011 and 2014, or the nearly 120,000 BTC stolen 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 reviewed by CryptoNews, 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 from the company's customers.

The previous year, PlusToken came into the public spotlight for the theft of 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 Ripple coin (XRP).

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