Bitcoin’s trading brothers disappear with ‘£ 2.5 billion biggest crypto theft in history’ after claiming platform was hacked
TWO South African brothers who started a bitcoin business from their bedroom and raised £ 2.5 billion in funds have disappeared in what is believed to be the biggest crypto theft in history.
Raees and Ameer Cajee, 21 and 17 respectively, have been missing since April when their trading platform was shut down following an alleged cyber attack.
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Police opened an investigation and said the brothers sold their Lamborghini Huracan, a luxury suite in one of South Africa’s most expensive hotels and a rented beachfront apartment in Durban weeks before their disappearance.
They then kicked the staff from Africrypt’s back-end programs seven days before the alleged attack, according to Hanekom Attorneys, the law firm representing the aggrieved investors.
What followed was a weird-worded email from Ameer to investors begging them not to alert authorities to the hack as it would “delay” the recovery of the money.
Ameer appears to be telling stakeholders that we were “unknown to the extent of customer personal information breached in the attack.”
“We were immediately suspicious as the announcement implored investors not to take legal action,” Hanekom Attorneys said in a statement.
Lawyers claim that Africrypt smuggled the funds by pooling investor money with other bitcoin transactions in order to make them untraceable.
Their demise comes as the value of bitcoin hit an all-time high in April, following numerous announcements from speculators such as Tesla titan Elon Musk.
The value of the cryptocurrency has halved since then.
Gerhard Botha, a Johannesburg lawyer representing 58 investors, was able to obtain an interim liquidation order against the fugitives.
The brothers have until July 19 to challenge the liquidation, The Post reported.
When contacted for comment, Ameer directed The Post to his lawyer for comment, but did not identify who it was or provide contact details.
Ameer and Raees launched Africrypt in 2019 and were praised for the success of their business in a cover story published in December by local media outlet The Umhlanga Magazine.
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The story has since been taken offline.
The brothers have attracted large and small South African and foreign investors.
At one point, the duo were flown to China by Huobi, the global bitcoin and ethereum trading platform, to talk about their business.