- ameer cajee and his younger brother, raees cajee, founded africrypt in 2019.
- Not long after, the brothers, along with bitcoin valued at $4 billion at its peak in April, they are nowhere. be found.
- Authorities and lawyers are still trying to get to the bottom of the disappearance.
Two South African brothers recently disappeared with $3.6 billion worth of bitcoin in what could be the largest crypto heist in history.
Local media, including online independents and itweb, were the first to report on the case.
In 2019, Ameer Cajee and his younger brother Raees Cajee founded the crypto investment app Africrypt.
shortly after, the brothers, along with 69,000 bitcoins worth approximately $4 billion at their peak in April, are nowhere to be found.
It all started in April when ameer, who is the company’s COO, informed his clients that africrypt had been hacked, compromising their accounts, wallets, and nodes.
In an unusual step, 20-year-old ameer told them not to report the incident to the authorities as this would impede attempts to recover the funds.
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However, some suspicious clients reported the attack. They contacted Hanekom’s lawyers, according to Independent Online, who then tried to locate the brothers. when it was unsuccessful, falcons, a police unit in south africa that focuses on crime and corruption, was taken over.
“We were immediately suspicious as the ad implored investors not to take legal action,” Hanekom’s attorneys told Bloomberg by email. “africrypt employees lost access to back-end platforms seven days before the alleged attack.”
Lawyers also told cryptocurrency exchanges around the world to sound the alarm if they spot any suspicious currency conversions.
fnb, which banked with africrypt, has also been questioned about the episode, according to documents seen by the independent online. the local bank denied any involvement.
“fnb confirms once again that it does not have a banking relationship with africrypt. due to client confidentiality, fnb is unable to provide any information on specific bank accounts,” nadiah maharaj, fnb risk spokesperson, told a site independent online.
As the brothers are still missing, some efforts to get to the bottom of things have hit snags.
For example, South Africa’s Financial Sector Conduct Authority, the country’s financial institution regulator, said that matters related to cryptocurrencies are not within its jurisdiction, an independent outlet reported.
Cryptocurrency-related crime is a growing cause of concern for regulators and businesses.
More recently, the bank for international settlements criticized the digital asset for its role in illegal activities.
“By now, it is clear that cryptocurrencies are speculative assets rather than money, and in many cases are used to facilitate money laundering, ransomware attacks and other financial crimes,” bis said.
meanwhile, the us treasury secretary. In the US, Janet Yellen has also been an outspoken critic of cryptocurrencies.
“To the extent that it is used, I am afraid it is often for illicit financing,” he said in February. “I am concerned about possible losses that investors may suffer.”