In April of 2021 just 9 months ago, two brothers under the age of 20 Raees and Ameer Cajee pulled off the largest crypto scam to date, stealing almost $4 billion worth of Bitcoin.
In 2019 the brothers founded Africrypt, which was the very first crypto exchange in Africa, but that’s not only what got investors excited.
The platform which was managed by AI promised 10% returns every single month, meaning you would double your money every 10 months.
After 2 years of receiving $3.6 billion from investors CEO Ameer Cajee sent a letter to the community stating that Africrypt had been hacked and 100% of investor’s money had been stolen.
Immediately all withdrawals and other transactions were frozen, but stated that a system audit was already underway.
However, by the time the letter had been sent the brothers had already completely vanished.
When investors tried contacting the company not a single phone call or email was answered, so they decided to drive to the Africrypt HQ in Johannesburg only to find out that it was an empty lot next to a carpeting business.
The Cajee brothers had deleted all traces of themselves on social media and were not at their respective homes.
The Bitcoin was gone, and so were they.
Before “The Hack”
Shortly after opening their African headquarters in 2019 they supposedly opened an international office in Hong Kong, which gave the company the added illusion of quick expansion.
The brothers were also publicly seen buying Lamborghini’s, renting out mega-mansions, and private jets in order to keep up appearances of super success.
What the public didn’t know was that months before “the hack” both brothers bought citizenship on the island of Vanuatu, which is tax-free country with visa-free entry into 130 countries.
Days before the hack they also sold all of their Ferrari’s, Lambo’s, and mansions.
Further building the perfect backstory
According to the company Raees Cajee was apparently a crypto prodigy that began mining Bitcoin when he was only 13 years old, and created his first crypto trading algorithm while he was still in school.
Also according to the brothers their algorithm was generating such great returns that Chinese trading platform Huobi even flew them out to to China.
With this image seeded in the mind of the public, investors couldn’t wait to dump their money into Africrypt.
For nearly 2 years the company would send out monthly statements showing hefty returns each and every month.
The fine print
As with all exchanges investors were required to sign an agreement and terms of service, however this agreement differed in the fact that the brothers made very sure to slip in a clause releasing Africrypt from any liability specifically in the case of hacking.
After “The Hack”
On April 13, 2021 Ameer Cajee sends out the letter stating that the company had been hacked, but suggests that clients don’t go to lawyers as “it would only slow down the process of recovery”.
Investors immediately went to authorities and an investigation was launched, however it was already too late.
No one could find the Cajee brothers or bring them in for questioning and even the Africrypt website was completely offline.
Tracing the Bitcoin
At first investors thought it would be easy to retrieve or follow the money as every Bitcoin transaction is stored on the Blockchain, but unfortunately the Cajee brothers found a way around this as well by using a tumbler.
“A cryptocurrency tumbler or cryptocurrency mixing service is a service offered to mix potentially identifiable or ‘tainted’ cryptocurrency funds with others, so as to obscure the trail back to the fund’s original source.”
This is exactly what they used with their 69,000 Bitcoin making it now untraceable.
More evidence against the brothers
- Just 7 days before “the hack” all staff members lost access to all of Africrypt’s backend platforms.
- After promising to help investors recovering the brothers fired their lawyer just 2 months after “the hack”.
- They’ve since been traced to Tanzania, Dubai, and London.
Will they get away with it?
According to the South African authorities they are unable to take action against Raees and Ameer as cryptocurrency is currently not a regulated asset in South Africa.
As for investors they are not giving up so easy. Many have hired private investigators to find the brothers and say that they will eventually have their justice.