The South African Police launched an investigation into an alleged cryptocurrency fraud during which more than 28,000 people lost about 1 billion rands ($80 million). The police announced on Friday that the fraudsters promised investors generous returns. The suspected company that defrauded the victims is called BitCaw Trading Company, commonly referred to as BTC Global.
“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 percent interest per day, 14 percent per week and ultimately 50 percent per month,” the police said in a statement.
Currently, the BTC Global’s website states that its services are suspended.
The website presented Steven Twain as the primary trader. On February 18, the fund manager disappeared with investors’ funds and left the company’s admin staff to deal with the problem.
“The admin team cannot locate him. If anyone has ANY information on how we can get in contact with him, please get in touch and let us know. Until Steven Twain resurfaces or is found there is nothing the admin team can do,” says the statement on the official site.
The police said that the victims were cryptocurrency enthusiasts from the public who were encouraged by BTC Global agents to invest. Some of them got paid as described by the plan, but the payments suddenly stopped.
Local tech news site mybroadband.co.za stated in March that investors had lost over $50 million with BTC Global scam.
Police investigator Yolisa Matakata commented:
“This may prove to be the tip of the iceberg with potentially thousands more yet to discover they’ve lost money.”
Andrew Caw, the founder of BitCaw Trading, reportedly said that his company was not involved in the BTC Global scam and that he was shocked to see its firm connected with it.
Last week, we reported about an unrelated incident in South Africa, namely a kidnapping case in which the criminals demanded a ransom in Bitcoin of about $118,000 to release a 12-year-old boy.