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South African Bitcoin exchange founders disappear after $ 3.6 billion “hack”

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Investors in cryptocurrencies in South Africa may have lost nearly $ 3.6 billion in Bitcoin after the disappearance of two brothers associated with one of the country’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges. According to Bloomberg, a law firm in Cape Town says it cannot locate Ameer and Raees Cajee, the founders of Africrypt. In April, the exchange told its investors that it was the victim of a hacker and asked them not to report the incident to authorities because it would “slow down” the process of recovering their missing money.

Some of those involved in the exchange have joined Hanekom Attorneys, the law firm that said it could not find the two brothers, to investigate the incident. He found that someone had withdrawn Africrypt’s mutual funds from local accounts and customer portfolios where the coins were originally stored and put them through. tumblers and mixers, making it difficult (though not impossible) to track money. “Africrypt employees lost access to back-end platforms seven days before the alleged hacking,” the law firm said. Bloomberg. The outlet tried to call both Cajee brothers several times just to receive their voice mail every time.

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Complicating any attempt at recovery is that the South African Financial Sector Conduct Authority is unable to launch a formal investigation into the incident because cryptocurrency is not legally considered a financial product in the country. If no one can recover the money, it will go down as the largest cryptocurrency loss in history, easily obscuring the approximately $ 200 million CAD lost when the founder of Canada QuadrigaCX exchange died while traveling in India.

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