Africrypt Bitcoin Brothers say their lawyer was threatened and father kidnapped

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Raees Cajee, a co-founder of South African Bitcoin investment firm Africrypt, who is accused of absconding with Bitcoin worth R51 billion, said he and his brother were forced to flee the country after receiving threats.

Cajee has filed court papers to oppose the company’s liquidation, according to a media report by MyBroadband.

In an answering affidavit, Cajee said reports and speculation that he and his brother fled the country with cryptocurrency worth billions of rand were “not true.“

“We were forced to flee the country — with our immediate family, including my disabled father — after receiving numerous death threats,” he said. Cajee said they were still receiving threats.

“We have had our location tracked, our mobile numbers hacked, and my father was, also, at one stage kidnapped.”

Cajee said their lawyer, John Oosthuizen, was recently threatened because of his involvement in the case.

He said they were hiding in Dubai in May when individuals extorted him with threats to his family in Dubai and his extended family in South Africa.

His father was held for hours and did as the attackers told him, out of fear.

“This appeared to me to be 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,” Cajee said, adding that he would keep his whereabouts confidential.

Cajee’s affidavit bears the stamp of the South African High Commission in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania and is dated July 19, 2021.

According to a police complaint by the law firm handling the case on behalf of investors, Hanekom Attorneys, Raees and Ameer Cajee, “absconded” with Bitcoin that was at the time valued at $3.6bn (about R54bn). Darren Hanekom is the attorney handling the case on behalf of investors.

It is alleged that the Cajee brothers transferred the invested pooled funds from a South African account before fleeing to the UK.

The complaint was made on behalf of a group of investors in April.

Last month, the lawyer of Raees and Ameer Cajee told the BBC that the brothers “categorically denied” they had been involved in a “heist” or “absconded” with funds.

“There is no foundation to the accusation, and there is no merit to those accusations,” said Oosthuizen. “They maintain that it was a hack, and they were fleeced of these assets.”

Cajee has once again disputed the allegations that they stole cryptocurrency worth R51bn.

Cajee and many others, including the attorney bringing the liquidation application against Africrypt, have said the R51bn figure was wrong.

He said Africrypt was hacked and the attack originated from a Ukrainian IP address.

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