You are currently viewing our desktop site, do you want to download our app instead?
Moneyweb Android App Moneyweb iOS App Moneyweb Mobile Web App

NEW SENS search and JSE share prices

More about the app

Africrypt’s Raees Cajee comes out of hiding in Tanzania to oppose liquidation

Argues that Africrypt isn’t insolvent, doesn’t owe investors anything, and that his family was forced to flee SA due to death threats.
‘It is in the nature of investments that they can be lost,’ says Cajee in his affidavit. Image: Chris Ratcliffe, Bloomberg

Raees Cajee has emerged from hiding in Tanzania to oppose the final liquidation of Africrypt, the bitcoin investment scheme that was allegedly hacked and emptied of R54 billion.

Read:

In his affidavit before the South Gauteng High Court, Cajee says nothing like R54 billion was hacked. It was closer to $6 million (R88.5 million), and hackers from a Ukraine internet address succeeded in making off with all the company’s crypto.

The affidavit was signed in Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania on July 19, putting paid to speculation as to his whereabouts.

Africrypt investor Juan Meyer of Badaspex was granted a provisional liquidation order in April this year after claiming an amount of nearly R67 million was owed to various clients.

The case returns to the high court in September to decide whether or not final liquidation should be granted.

Family flees after threats

The application brought by Badaspex and the attendant media publicity resulted in the Cajee brothers and their family fleeing SA as they reportedly received numerous death threats, and an attempt was made in Dubai to kidnap their father.

Around May 20, Raees’s father Bilal Cajee was apparently stopped by unknown Pakistani nationals in Dubai and the family threatened with harm unless a significant sum of money was paid to a nominated bank account. Bilal Cajee was then held in a hotel in Dubai for about 12 hours, during which time these threats were made.

This is now the subject of a criminal investigation in Dubai.

The kidnapping attempt was a case of “individuals having been contracted in Dubai by disgruntled investors who no doubt intended to intimidate and harass us into making unlawful payments,” deposes Cajee.

Arguments

Raees Cajee is opposing the final liquidation, arguing that Badaspex had signed an agreement with RaeCreateWealth (RCW) in Hong Kong, and not with Africrypt, and therefore Badaspex had no contractual agreement with Africrypt. “The Respondent (Africrypt) is not indebted to the Applicant (Badaspex) as it contends or in any other amount whatsoever,” deposes Cajee.

He goes on to argue that there is no contractual relationship between Africrypt and either Meyer or Badaspex, based on the fact that Badaspex’s claim rests on an agreement that was partly oral and partly written.

The written part of this agreement was with RCW, which explicitly exonerates the company from any data breach (such as a hack) and requires any contractual disputes to be decided by the Hong Kong courts. This agreement was signed electronically by Raees Cajee on October 26, 2020, and then transmitted to Badaspex’s sole director, Adrian Pilling.

Any reliance by Badaspex on agreements purportedly made with the younger brother, Ameer Cajee, are invalid because Ameer was just 17 at the time.

Raees Cajee then goes on to argue that Meyer’s demand for repayment of money placed with Africrypt was precipitated by his questioning of Meyer’s source of funds. “I point out that I was uncomfortable dealing with Meyer as, by that stage, I had come across certain negative press reports concerning Meyer’s chequered past.”

He references a 2011 article from iOL headlined ‘Krejcir ex-partner wants millions back’ which claimed Meyer was a ‘colourful character who moves around town surrounded by a posse of bodyguards’ and who was claiming R60 million from his former business partner, the now-jailed crime boss Radovan Krejcir.

‘Unreasonable demands’ from Badaspex

Cajee wrote to Badaspex on March 19 asking for information pertaining to the source of its funds in Africrypt, and it was this questioning that resulted in Badaspex “making unreasonable demands for repayment”.

Though RCW, in terms of the agreement signed by Meyer, was entitled to hold all the capital and profits for a period of 12 months, Cajee says he acceded to repay some of the invested capital out of fear for his safety. An amount of R2 million was repaid to Badaspex in February.

Cajee also asserts that Badaspex’s attorney Gerhard Botha conceded in an email that the agreement was not between Africrypt and Badaspex, but between RCW and Badaspex.

The Badaspex funds were invested in RCWSA, a subsidiary of RCW. Cajee then discusses the volume of funds invested with Africrypt, which totalled around R200 million.

“It is implausible to think that R200 million could have been turned into R51 billion between September 2020 and April 2021.”

Cajee then says Africrypt did not have an account with FNB into which Badaspex’s funds were received. Instead, the funds were received into RCWSA’s bank account, “and accordingly the Applicant [Badaspex] has no claim against the Respondent [Africrypt].”

However Gerhard Botha, attorney for Badaspex, told Moneyweb: “We will be addressing these claims by Raees Cajee in our reply, but it is worth noting that several clients were repaid funds and made withdrawals at different times and that Africrypt, not RCWSA, was the company that clients were interacting with throughout.”

Cajee’s version of events disputed

Darren Hanekom of Hanekom Attorneys, acting for a number of investors, disputes Cajee’s version of events on the basis that the Bitcoin blockchain shows funds being shipped to a bitcoin address apparently controlled by the Cajees.

The following image shows just one of the addresses used by the Cajees, and an amount of 75 459 bitcoin, worth $2.4 billion (R36 billion) deposited into the address and subsequently withdrawn in 1 292 transactions. The address was still being used as a week ago, when around 2.3 bitcoin was deposited and withdrawn.

Source: Bitcoin.com

Claims against Africrypt so far lodged total more than R200 million, says Hanekom.

“We are not saying R51 billion came out of South Africa and into Africrypt. What we are saying is that one of the bitcoin addresses used by Africrypt show[s] an amount of more than 75 000 bitcoin moving in and out, and that’s an amount of $2.4 billion. There were other addresses used by Africrypt.

“The Cajees have not explained where this additional bitcoin came from or what was the purpose of these addresses, and how come so much money was transacted through these addresses,” adds Hanekom.

“Clients stopped receiving statements in November 2020. On inspection of the provided addresses, it was observed that the client balances were transferred out and sent to the larger pooled account. This pooled address was flagged on the blockchain for links to malware and dark web marketplaces.”

Denials

Cajee denies Africrypt had any cryptocurrency wallets in its name, and also denies he and his brother fled the country with billions of rands in cryptocurrency owing to investors.

The “media attention and misinformation” around Africrypt and the fate of the missing money resulted in law firms demanding astronomically high fees. The Cajees cycled through two sets of attorneys before securing the services of Shaheed Dollie, a Johannesburg firm of attorneys.

“I further deny that Africrypt conducted a banking account at FNB and that it invested in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin,” argues Cajee.

Badaspex brought the liquidation application after being informed of a hack on April 13 in which funds had been stolen.

Cajee again leans on the agreement with RCW rather than Africrypt, and says RCW is not liable for any damages.

“However, with a view to being transparent, I point out that it was discovered by me on the morning of 13 April 2021 that the hot wallets [meaning an online wallet hosted on a server] and the private keys for the cryptocurrency assets as well as the API [application programming interface] keys and programming interface were inaccessible.

“After investigating the matter, it became apparent to me that the respondent [Africrypt, being the marketing, operations and administrative entity nominated by RCW] had lost access to its server. Later investigations revealed that these devices and information was accessed and unlawfully from a Ukrainian IP [internet protocol] address, which information was disclosed to me by the Respondent’s external service provider. …It is thus clear to me that the information was unlawfully obtained and used for the benefit of individuals who had criminal intent.”

The result of this was that personal information belonging to clients such as ID documents, proof of residence, confidential banking information and other information was lost “without any prospect of any recovery”.

RCWSA is under no obligation to repay any investments made. “Indeed, these were not loans made in the ordinary course of business and it is in the nature of investments that they can be lost.”

Listen to Ciaran Ryan’s interview with Darren Hanekom of Hanekom Attorneys:

Please consider contributing as little as R20 in appreciation of our quality independent financial journalism.

AUTHOR PROFILE

COMMENTS   16

Sort by:
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Top voted

You must be signed in to comment.

SIGN IN SIGN UP

Crypto trading attracting criminal types and “investors” (=gamblers) losing their money.

Go figure.

The most interesting thing about cryptocurrency for me is how long it’s taking for people to learn their lesson.

It’s as though it is a gigantic public cult of head knodders that are lapping up the BS that the crypto industry is publishing.

Perhaps a new marketing strategy for casinos and other gambling institutions to follow.

I’m one head knodder that is making a fortune right now. Let’s see, just with a little bit of due diligence like one is supposed to do with all investments, my k100 invested in Ethereum at $ 100 early last yea, among a few others, Hmmm… early retirement coming up soon. Lol.

You could add anti-vaxers to that list.

Look, there are two separate issues: investment scams, and the fundamentals of a cryptocurrency as an investment.

Agreed but there is ONE excellent investment strategy to follow and if it smells like excrement it probably is then stay the hell away from it. Come one, Krejir, Juan Meyer, bodyguards, fraudulent VAT claims, Tanzania, kidnapping, Dubai, Hong Kong etc….

And then the reply argument above immediately goes to the validity of Crypto, this has nothing to do with crypto, in this case the crypto is only the NEW Special, Complicated clothing used to dress up the scam. There are a million of ways to invest and in crypto as well other forms and these guys take up these “investments” with these Lambo driving body guard flanked morons. They deserve it, just saying.

Bunch of nonsense these bros are telling.

This seems like a stalling tactic. While the lawyers are sorting out the details between the web of companies, they have time behind the scenes to make the money disappear in the background. I suspect that once the defence exhausts the web liability, it will likely resort to the man of straw argument because the cost of litigation had financially drained them.

Tanzania????

🙂

There are better countries to go to…

We’re selling Table Mountain – get you’re shares for only R10, 000 each. Solid, solid investment. You can go visit it anytime. Will last millennia. Idiots only please PS we don’t take crypto as payment (that’s because we may be crooks but we’re not idiots)

Darren Hanekom!!
His explanation of the R51 billion figure is suspicious and that leads one to suspect much of what he says.

Thieves and suckers fall out. But yet another windfall for the lawyers. Go figure …

Obviously the brothers Cajee have learnt from the Guptas, the Bushiris, etc. Best to flee S.A. and negotiate from another country. Ensure that all the scams proceeds are banked in Dubai, Panama, etc.
Ten years later, the S.A. media will still be reporting that the suspects failed to appear in court and that extradition procedures are still being followed.

What I don’t understand is how, in this day & age of PPL leaving a digital footprint 95% of the time… yet our country don’t know where these PPL flee to. We need a #ZASnowden

It adds up. Ok so Ukrainian hackers took all the money! Plus being held captive for all of 12hours in Dubai.. equals missing for months.
#DoTheMath but also #DoTheCrimeDoTheTime

Would be interesting to have an overview of their CGT or Taxation overview to SARS if there’s any that was even made.

End of comments.

LATEST CURRENCIES  

USD / ZAR
GBP / ZAR
EUR / ZAR
BTC / USD

Podcasts

INSIDER SUBSCRIPTIONS APP VIDEOS RADIO / LISTEN LIVE SHOP OFFERS WEBINARS NEWSLETTERS TRENDING PORTFOLIO TOOL CPD HUB

Follow us:

Search Articles:
Click a Company: