Not long ago, the largest crypto heist in history was recorded. Africrypt, an exchange stationed on the continent of Africa, saw as much as $3.6 billion in crypto funds vanish without a trace.
Africrypt Owners End Their Lawyers’ Services
While at first the platform appeared to be the victim of a hack, things took a unique and ugly turn when the brothers that ran the exchange – Ameer and Raees Cajee – told their customers not to report the incident to law enforcement, as doing so would likely get in the way of their own investigation. This set off alarm bells in the heads of several Africrypt investors, and some told law enforcement about their experiences anyway given that something felt a little fishy.
It has since been announced that the lawyers representing both brothers have been terminated from their positions and are no longer involved in the case. At the time of writing, it is unclear if the owners of Africrypt have found legal representation elsewhere. John Oosthuizen – a South Africa-based attorney defending the brothers – explained in an interview:
Our mandate to assist the Cajee Brothers has been terminated. I look forward to reading your report on the Africrypt saga further.
Just two days prior to his firing, Oosthuizen released a statement claiming that the brothers had no role in the heist and that they were completely innocent of any crime. He stated:
There is no foundation to the accusation and there is no merit to those accusations. They maintain that it was a hack, and they were fleeced of these assets.
Either way, neither brother has been seen or heard from since first reporting that Africrypt had been hacked last April. Ameer, at 20 years of age, was two years older than his brother, and initially told customers of the exchange that informing law enforcement was pointless given that he and his sibling had “very little life experience.”
A History of Hacks?
To many, this was a strange excuse, and several customers sought the services of Hanekom Attorneys to track the brothers down. When they were unable to do so, the legal group got in touch with Hawks, an African police unit specifically built to battle financial crimes. In a statement, Hanekom Attorneys said:
We were immediately suspicious as the announcement implored investors not to take legal action. Africrypt employees lost access to the back-end platforms seven days before the alleged hack.
Even more suspicious is that prior to Africrypt, the brothers ran a separate investment firm that ultimately experienced a similar so-called hack in the year 2019. During that time, the brothers reached out to all clients explaining that the platform had been cleaned out of all its bitcoin due to an alleged cyberattack on Binance, the enterprise’s largest trading partner at the time, suggesting this has become a pattern with the Cajee Brothers.