After complaints from some victims, South African officials have initiated an investigation into the continent’s biggest digital currency fraud. The investigation stems from a mystery Dubai firm that has been paying some of the victims of the $3.6 billion Africrypt BTC fraud.
Africrypt was a major hoax conducted by two brothers, Ameer and Raees Cajee, aged 18 and 21, according to CoinGeek. The brothers reportedly preyed on South African celebrities and high-net-worth people, enticing them in with promises of rich profits. Authorities claim that they advised their customers to keep the initiative a secret, which accidentally attracted more individuals.
As with other frauds, it all came crumbling down, and clients could not retrieve their monies. The Cajees first claimed that Africrypt had been hacked, but cybersecurity specialists eventually traced the two brothers’ wallet addresses to the “hackers.” After that, they attempted to hide the fraud by advising their consumers not to disclose it to authorities, but it all fell apart after a while.
According to Bloomberg, when a group of investors submitted complaints, South African authorities began a new investigation into the fraud. This is purportedly after some victims began receiving money from Pennython Project Management LLC, a mystery Dubai-based company.
The inquiry is led by the South African Police Services’ Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, often known as Hawks. Lieutenant Colonel Philani Nkwalase told the media outlet that the investigation is already underway in four provinces, including Johannesburg and Durban.
“There are multiple victims in these cases. Investigations are ongoing,” Nkwalase said.
The colonel went on to say that the victims’ bank details are being scrutinized as they try to locate the two brothers. The scale of the crime has yet to be determined by the Hawks. Despite prior allegations that the Cajee brothers got off with more than $3.6 billion, their attorney denied the sum at the time.
The Hawks have also been looking into another massive Bitcoin fraud called Mirror Trading International (MTI). MTI was said to have made off with more than $1 billion, but unlike Africrypt, it preyed on users worldwide, not only South Africans.