Biggest ever crypto scam sees Bitcoin worth $3.6 billion stolen by siblings

midian182

Posts: 6,930   +62
Staff member
In a nutshell: What appears to be the biggest cryptocurrency heist in history has taken place after two South African brothers vanished with $3.6 billion worth of Bitcoin taken from their crypto investment company.

Bloomberg reports that Ameer Cajee and his brother Raees set up Africrypt in 2019 and it provided significant returns for investors. But in April, when Bitcoin hit its peak, Cajee, who was working as the company’s Chief Operating Officer, informed clients that Africrypt had been hacked. He also asked investors not to contact law enforcement as this would slow the recovery process, which raised suspicions.

Even more suspicious was Africrypt employees losing access to its back-end platforms a week before the alleged hack took place. Investors hired Hanekom Attorneys to investigate the matter and found that the company’s pooled funds were transferred from its South African accounts and client wallets to Bitcoin wallets and tumblers, or other large pools of Bitcoins, making them untraceable.

The law firm has been unable to locate the brothers, who are believed to have fled the country days before the “hack.” The incident has been reported to Hawks, an elite unit of the South African police force that deals with organized crime.

South Africa’s Finance Sector Conduct Authority is also looking into Africrypt, though it cannot launch a formal investigation because crypto assets are not legally considered financial products. Global crypto exchanges have also been informed in case any attempts are made to convert the Bitcoins.

Last year saw the now-defunct South African Bitcoin trader, Mirror Trading International, scam 23,000 Bitcoins, the equivalent to $1.2 billion, from investors.

Image credit: LightField Studios

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BoowieBear

Posts: 22   +32
"though it cannot launch a formal investigation because crypto assets are not legally considered financial products."

Sadly true. An asset that loses 50% value in 6 weeks is not a good asset.
 

terzaerian

Posts: 960   +1,399
"though it cannot launch a formal investigation because crypto assets are not legally considered financial products."

Sadly true. An asset that loses 50% value in 6 weeks is not a good asset.
Biggest ever crypto scam sees Bitcoin worth $3.6 billion stolen by siblings

"Crypto has no value / crypto provides value to criminals" remains the most persistent doublethink.

If it was worth nothing, why would criminals use it?

If criminals use it because it's valuable and easy to steal, why shouldn't innocent people use it for better purposes?
 

MasterMace

Posts: 178   +151
"Crypto has no value / crypto provides value to criminals" remains the most persistent doublethink.

If it was worth nothing, why would criminals use it?

If criminals use it because it's valuable and easy to steal, why shouldn't innocent people use it for better purposes?

The statement 'legally it is not a financial product' is because it is considered an 'Energy' product. They never said it has no value.
 
"though it cannot launch a formal investigation because crypto assets are not legally considered financial products."

Sadly true. An asset that loses 50% value in 6 weeks is not a good asset.
Depends on when you buy. I'm pretty bullish on BTC and ETH. I'll buy now, for example - market is down. Also, let's remember - it started at zero. So, good asset? Bad asset? Still depends..
 

kimo1

Posts: 236   +432
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wiyosaya

Posts: 6,143   +4,411
But when it gains 50% no one is crying right?
Like any "investment," past performance is no guarantee of future results. If crypto were an investment, my bet is that it would be rated in a volatility category similar to junk bonds or garbage equity investments. There is no stability in crypto.

Maybe those buying crypto should be forced to read a disclaimer along the lines of "Beyond Here Be Dragons." ;)
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 6,143   +4,411
If criminals use it because it's valuable and easy to steal, why shouldn't innocent people use it for better purposes?
Because not everyone has money to pee away. You might get the same "investment" results by going to a casino and playing slot machines.

Crypto is not for everyone, though, I am willing to bet you would like it to be.
 

m3tavision

Posts: 656   +407
When they hit $55k, I sold the rest of my coins. win/win.

I am done with mining, or until something more efficient comes around. Where is all the Consumer Gaming products...?

Unable to fill up a newegg/microcenter order without "out of stock". China sandbagging...
 

scavengerspc

Posts: 1,397   +1,293
TechSpot Elite
Crypto regulations are going to eventually come

Nothing but PONZI Schemes right now
A lot of people make a lot of money on what you call a Ponzi scheme.
Also, in a Ponzi scheme, people are lied to in so many ways it should be criminal. Wait, it is.

Crypto is not a Ponzi scheme anymore that the stock market.
You are a stockbroker and its sad and amazing that you need that explained to you
 

umbala

Posts: 371   +487
If it was worth nothing, why would criminals use it?
Because a lot of stupid people are convinced that it DOES have value. It's like if I convinced people that each of my pubes was worth a thousand dollars. Does it now have value? No. Would criminals use it to try and get rich? Sure!

Your assertion that something must have value because criminals use it makes zero sense.
 

umbala

Posts: 371   +487
Yes, crypto is so wonderful because it's untraceable and governments can't control it. Good luck to all of you when it gets stolen (and it will). It's pretty much useless for regular people (unless you're one of the foolish ones trying to make a quick buck) but it's certainly been a boon for cyber criminals!
 

umbala

Posts: 371   +487
It wont be, anymore than the stock market will be.
Only the smartest people compare nonsense garbage like crypto the stock market which actually has real value backing it. I see you're a TechSpot Elite member, which must mean you're one of the smartest people around when it comes to thing sort of thing.... oh wait.