South African police are investigating investors’ claims to have been scammed by Africrypt, a crypto platform run by two missing brothers.
Investors are pursuing legal action against Ameer and Raees Cajee after being offered repayment for their losses by Pennython Project Management, a mysterious investor based in Dubai, Bloomberg first reported.
While neither Ameer or Raees Cajee has been found guilty of wrongdoing, the brothers stand accused of stealing £2.5bn in Bitcoin after telling investors their funds had been lost in a hack and urging them not to alert the authorities.
“There are multiple victims in these cases,” Lieutenant Colonel Philani Nkwalase of the Hawks police unit told Bloomberg. “Investigations are ongoing,” he added, confirming that work is underway in four South African cities including Johannesburg and Durban.
The Cajee brothers disappeared in April shortly after informing investors of the hack and amidst an all time high in the value of Bitcoin. While the missing brothers claimed that their lives were threatened by organised crime forcing them to disappear, documents seen by the Guardian reveal that the pair had bought citizenship on a remote Pacific island months before they vanished.
Last month a mystery investor, later revealed to be Pennython Project Management, offered to repay investors for 65 per cent of the value of their lost investments provided they did not pursue further legal action.
While the majority of investors are believed to have accepted the offer they are nonetheless pursuing legal action to recoup the remainder of their losses. South African police are reviewing financial statements to identify how much capital has been lost by investors.
The case has raised the profile of the risks posed by crypto ownership in South Africa. The country’s financial regulator last month announced plans to unveil a regulatory framework for digital assets.