Below is a statement released by the management of so-called bitcoin trading group Mirror Trading International on the disappearance of its founder and CEO Johann Steynberg, who apparently left the country on December 3.
Steynberg’s disappearance follows a raid by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) and it issuing a warning to the public to avoid getting involved in MTI.
The FSCA opened a criminal case against MTI on Thursday.
Get-rich-quick scheme pulls a crowd, despite regulators calling time-out (Aug 28)
Anonymous data dump ‘spills the beans’ on Mirror Trading International (Sep 21)
MTI plans countersuit after FSCA raid on offices and homes of execs (Oct 28)
MTI Critical Statement 22/12/2020
Apologies to all members for the lack of communication – MTI Management and leaders have not responded to this terrible situation before now as we had to wait for the facts to be verified before we could release any information.
The main points:
Johann is alive.
Johann is in Brazil as far as we know.
Johann has not been truthful with management, leaders or members.
We as management and leaders do not know if our bitcoin is safe.
Management has contacted the server team; they are co-operating fully.
Management has been in contact with the broker, trade300, but now believe this company is potentially owned and operated by Johann Steynberg. Communication with the broker has been sparse and unforthcoming.
The whole management team is co-operating with law enforcement and will continue to do so until this matter is resolved.
Nerina Steynberg (Johann’s wife) is yet to file a missing persons’ report.
“The last time we heard from Johann was Tuesday, 15 December 2020, at 01:51am.”
Detailed report from the Management and Leaders’ Team:
Following the search and seizure warrants executed by the FSCA on the 26th of October 2020, things started unravelling quickly at MTI, [and] it was becoming very difficult to handle to [the] amount of work created for each department. Each department was expanded, with more training staff being brought in. Support employed 22 more support staff and we insisted that Johann get help in the technical department as it was clear he and Nerina were not coping. The system kept crashing and Johann told us that we had had numerous hacking attempts by a Russian syndicate. He sent us the details of these, some demanding extremely high ransoms.
On the day of the raid an independent contractor to MTI, a crypto expert was contacted, and asked to contact Camila (the senior account manager) at trade300 [MTI’s unregulated broker] and tell her that our accounts may be compromised as a result of the raid and she must wait to hear from Johann before allowing any access to the broker account of MTI, which the contractor did immediately.
The contractor had trade300 contact details as we had asked him to help Johann to cryptographically prove MTI’s bitcoin balance to the FSCA and the public. Johann however did not supply the necessary details to him to complete this process.
Johann told us that when the FSCA took all the electronic devices, a security protocol was put in place with the broker to avoid all our member bitcoin being stolen, this included a limitation of withdrawals. This was communicated to all members on managements’ insistence.
A week after the raid, Johann requested that Clynton Marks give him BTC to pay members that had made withdrawals as the limitation on withdrawals with the broker was still a hinderance. Johann agreed to put in 400btc as well. Clynton then agreed and paid over 400btc of his own outside of MTI to Johann on the 1st, 11th and 12th of November 2020. Management has no proof that Johann did contribute the amount he stated. Clynton Marks had full confidence that he would get his Bitcoin back.
Johann said Nerina Steynberg also allegedly gave 200btc for this process.
Johann frantically processed withdrawals and management insisted on this being the highest priority knowing full well Cheri Marks had promised this to members on Johann’s instruction.
On the 30th of November Johann received an email from an anonymous source.