A Cape Town law firm hired by investigators says it is unable to find Ameer and Raees Cajee, founders of Africrypt, the country’s largest cryptocurrency exchange. The firm has since reported the matter to the Hawks, an elite unit of South Africa’s police force.
It has also told crypto exchanges around the world to be on the lookout should anyone try to sell the digital currency on their platforms.
Largest crypto scam in history
Back in April, when Bitcoin had reached its highest valuation yet, Africrypt warned clients of a hack. But it strangely asked clients not to alert law enforcement authorities or lawyers, claiming that doing so “would slow down” the recovery process.
Not all of the company’s clients believed that, and some investors retained Hanekom Attorneys to look into things.
“We were immediately suspicious as the announcement implored investors not to take legal action,” Hanekom Attorneys said to Bloomberg. “Africrypt employees lost access to the back-end platforms seven days before the alleged hack.”
The law firm eventually found that Africrypt’s pooled funds had been transferred from its client’s accounts so many times and through so many filters that it was nearly impossible to trace the cryptocurrency.
A total of around 69,000 bitcoins are missing from the firm. At the time of their disappearance, this was equal to around $3.6 billion, but with recent drops, their value now stands at just under $2.4 billion.
Even at the lower number, the amount still makes it the largest cryptocurrency loss in history should the money not be recovered. According to a report from April, the 80 largest cyber thefts from the past decade only resulted in a collective loss of $2.5 billion.
Author: Franz Walker
Franz Walker is a news journalist who reports mostly on topics related to health, science, and financial markets. His articles have been published by science.news, newstarget.com, naturalnews.com, journalism.news and pharmaceuticalfraud.com.