- The lawyers for the two brothers involved in what could be the world’s largest crypto heist have been removed from the case.
- The South-Africa based lawyers told Bloomberg their mandate to assist the brothers has been terminated.
- The Cajee brothers and the estimated $3.6 billion in bitcoin are still nowhere to be found.
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The lawyers for the two brothers who have been accused of vanishing with an estimated $3.6 billion in bitcoin told Bloomberg on Monday their mandate to assist the brothers has been terminated.
“Our mandate to assist the Cajee Brothers has been terminated,” John Oosthuizen, a South Africa-based attorney, said in an email to Bloomberg, when asked for comment on the brother’s whereabouts. “I look forward to reading your reporting on the Africrypt saga further.”
The statement from Oosthuizen came just two days after he publicly defended Ameer Cajee and his younger brother, Raees Cajee. The brothers have not been seen since they told clients that their cryptocurrency investment app Africypt had been hacked in April.
The brothers, speaking through Oosthuizen, denied any involvement in the crypto heist.
“There is no foundation to the accusation and there’s no merit to those accusations,” Oosthuizen told the BBC. “They maintain that it was a hack, and they were fleeced of these assets.”
When 20 year-told Ameer Cajee learned of the hack, he told clients not to report the incident to authorities as this would impede attempts to recover the funds. Neither Ameer nor Raees contacted the police after the alleged hack.
Oosthuizen defended the brothers’ decision to not talk to the police, saying that at just 20 and 18 years old, they “had very little life experience.”
But several suspicious customers, however, did report the hack. They contacted Hanekom Attorneys, according to Independent Online, who then tried to track the brothers down. When unsuccessful, Hawks, a police unit in South Africa that targets crime and corruption, was looped in.
“We were immediately suspicious as the announcement implored investors not to take legal action,” Hanekom Attorneys told Bloomberg over email. “Africrypt employees lost access to the back-end platforms seven days before the alleged hack.”
The news of the lawyers being terminated from the case also comes as local news site MoneyWeb reported that this incident wasn’t the first time a company the Cajee brothers ran had been hacked.
Before founding Africrypt in July 2019, the Cajee brothers ran a different investment platform. In a letter to clients on in May 2019, the brothers said their platform was hacked and emptied of all bitcoin. They blamed a breach of their biggest trading partner, Binance, for the hack.