Raees Cajee’s attempts to stave off the final liquidation of Africrypt, the crypto investment scheme which appears to have roped in R200 million before allegedly being hacked in April, have run into some serious headwinds.
Raees is accused of attempting to hide behind a Hong Kong-based company called RaeCreateWealth (RCW) and another entity called RCWSA to escape liability from creditors.
The Cajees fled South Africa apparently in fear for their lives after claiming their crypto accounts were hacked in April. What has astonished investigators is that far more than R200 million in bitcoin was stolen from digital wallets linked to Africrypt.
As Moneyweb previously reported, one wallet alone contained more than 71 000 bitcoin, worth roughly $2.4 billion (R34.5 billion at current exchange rates).
Forensic investigator Hamilton Cheong and several claimants have disputed that there was a hack, saying the evidence does not support this story.
This is also not the first time the Cajees’ crypto investment schemes have been hacked, casting further doubt on their version of events.
One theory proposed is that the R200 million being claimed in SA by Africrypt investors was co-mingled with funds from a variety of other sources.
Juan Meyer, as a director of Badaspex, and in response to Raees Cajee, turns the spotlight on the apparently free-spending brothers, with bank statements showing expenses for luxury cars such as a Lamborghini, Audi R8 and various BMWs.
In addition there are damages paid for an AirBnB, totalling some R7.8 million.
Bank statements attached to Meyer’s affidavit show vehicle expenses of R892 406, clothing (including watches) of R685 997, residential rentals of R250 000, family travel expenses of R504 935, and sponsorships in the name of Africrypt of R115 000.
Meyer contends that the Cajees realised that “their scheme was no longer viable, and they had to start ‘creating’ grounds for its future non-performance.”
“It is submitted that the real fear of Raees and Ameer [Cajee] is criminal prosecution in the event of them returning to South Africa,” deposes Meyer.
He says Raees Cajee’s claim in his opposing affidavit that hackers using a Ukrainian IP [internet protocol] address managed to penetrate several layers of security to make off with bitcoin belonging to Africrypt clients cannot be accepted by the court as he is not an expert.
“The fact of the matter is that [Africrypt] has to date done nothing to recoup any losses suffered, notwithstanding its undertakings in its letter of 13 April 2021 to its investors.”
Badaspex had requested a refund of R3.175 million, but an inspection of the FNB bank statements for RCWSA showed that no funds were available to settle this amount.
It was this repayment claim (by Badaspex) that in all probability triggered the collapse of the scheme operated by the Cajees.
Houghton Hotel incident
When Africrypt failed to honour the request for repayment, Raees claims that Meyer – who had previously been a business associate of jailed crime boss Radovan Krejcir – paid a visit to the Houghton Hotel where Ameer was renting an apartment and managed to push his way into the apartment.
Ameer managed to close the door on Meyer, who was left standing in the passage, “banging on the door and trying to force his way back in”.
Ameer escaped the apartment through an internal lift, and hotel security apparently removed Meyer.
Raees also claims that his father was kidnapped and threatened by irate investors in Dubai, and a criminal case was opened by Dubai police.
Meyer in response asks why no charges were laid against him by Ameer, or why the events at the Houghton Hotel had not been recorded or reported to the relevant authorities at the time.
“The only reason why Ameer was trying to escape my attention was due to [Africrypt] simply not having sufficient resources to pay out the withdrawal amount as required by [Badaspex]. I represent an investor who has a claim of more than R35 million against the entity represented by the two Cajee brothers, Raees and Ameer,” says Meyer’s affidavit.
“The personal opinions of Raees and Ameer regarding me are irrelevant to this application and have clearly been added to create an atmosphere in the absence of a defence.”
Meyer says the facts do not support Raees Cajee’s claim that investors contracted not with Africrypt, but with the entity called RCWSA, a subsidiary of the Hong Kong entity RCW.
‘No legal standing’
On this basis, Badaspex has no legal standing to bring an application for the final liquidation of Africrypt. Badaspex was granted a provisional liquidation order against Africrypt in April this year, though Raees Cajee last month filed an affidavit with the court opposing final liquidation.
Cajee claims that Africrypt itself never received any investments from Badaspex or any other investor.
In response, Meyer supplies bank statements and other evidence to show that he and other investors at all times believed they were dealing with Africrypt, and Cajee’s assertions to the contrary are merely attempts to avoid liability.
Though clients were required to sign agreements with RCW of Hong Kong, these agreements were never implemented, and no funds were ever handed over to RCW.
Africrypt never applied to the SA Reserve Bank for permission to remove funds from the country, and investors were expressly instructed to make payment into the Africrypt FNB account.
Raees confirmed in an email dated August 17, 2020, that clients were dealing with Africrypt, and that Africrypt would uphold the agreement previously signed with the Hong Kong entity.
“The defence advanced by [Africrypt] to the effect that [Badaspex] did not contract with [Africrypt], is either [a] disingenuous afterthought, or, even worse, a premeditated strategy,” deposes Meyer.
“Either way, this defence is not supported by any evidence, it is exposed by the objective facts and [Africrypt’s] own conduct, and it falls to be rejected without further ado.”