A look at the recent development three months after news of a multi-million-dollar cryptocurrency scam in South Africa erupted.
About 28,000 South African crypto investors were victimized by a big Ponzi scheme in March.
The firm behind the scam, BTC Global, duped the victims of more than $50M by luring them with absurdly high returns on their investment. This amount has since rose to $80M according to Fin24.
The “Hawks”, a monicker for South Africa’s Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, has taken over the investigation. The agency which investigates “organized- and economic crimes,” stated:
“The serious economic offenses unit has been tasked to investigate the massive alleged fraud. Members of the public are believed to have been targeted as part of the scam and encouraged by BTC Global agents to invest, with promises of 2% interest per day, 14% per week and ultimately 50% per month.”
There is now some doubt about the alleged mastermind Steven Twain. Did he exist at all? According to Cheri Ward, who helped build his website, he did. She has not seen his face though but only communicated through email and text.
Only 5 days ago, the Hawks has involved BitCaw Trading Company as a connivant in the crime. Fiercely denying the allegation, a firm’s agent stated:
“BitCaw Trading was not involved in the BTC Global scam and we are shocked to see our name connected with it. BitCaw Trading assists people with buying and selling Bitcoin as well as other Bitcoin-related services. We do not manage third-party money or offer any kind of investment.”
BitCaw, claiming to be in no way connected to BTC Global, threatened to sue the “Hawks” unless they publicly back down on the case.
BitCaw’s lawyers wrote:
“BitCaw Trading does not manage or trade with third-party money or offer any kind of investment returns. BTC Global, on the other hand, was/is a Bitcoin investment company and has nothing to do with our client.”
The “Hawks” countered they have enough proof to make the accusations. Brigadier Hangwani Malaudzi, said:
“We got the letter. We knew that they would go to the media. We will take it on in line with the due process. We believe that it is good that people want this to be clarified by the courts, and we will handle it there. As far as we are concerned, our statements on the matter still stand unless we are convinced otherwise.”