Africrypt: In Tanzania, a founder with a Vanuatu passport tells of Dubai family kidnapping
- Raees Cajee, the founder of Africrypt, is apparently in Tanzania.
- But his father was in Dubai – where he was kidnapped – while Cajee reportedly recently bought a passport from the island state of Vanuatu.
- Investors say Cajee and his brother Ameer owe them at least R200 million in disappeared bitcoin investments.
- The brothers said they had to go into hiding after their company was hacked and funds stolen.
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At least one of the Cajee brothers is apparently in Tanzania, after fleeing South Africa following what he said were violent threats from dangerous people who lost a lot of money when his bitcoin investment company Africrypt was hacked.
But whether he will remain there, within potential reach of South African law enforcement, remains to be seen. When Raees Cajee signed legal papers in that African country, he disclosed that his father is, or had been, in Dubai – where he was apparently kidnapped. That is while both Cajee and his brother Ameer reportedly hold passports from the island nation of Vanuatu, which provides visa-free access to many countries.
Investors say they lost at least R200 million to the Cajee brothers, though that number has, without evidence, been put as high as R50 billion.
See also | Africrypt: ‘It wasn’t us’, say brothers – with no sign the R50bn they supposedly stole existed
The brothers say they were hacked, but some investors suspect an exit scam, in which investment managers simply make off with cash entrusted to them, and are seeking criminal prosecution for theft.
After they disappeared, even the Cajee's family said they did not know where the brothers had headed. But thanks to a reply to a liquidation application, first reported by Moneyweb, there is now a pretty solid sighting for Raees Cajee: he is, or as of 19 July was, in Dar-es-Salaam, according to that paperwork.
But his immediate family members have been beyond the continent too. In May, Raees Cajee said in his filing, his father Bilal Cajee was kidnapped and held in a Dubai hotel for half a day, supposedly by Pakistani nationals working for "disgruntled investors".
Meanwhile, Raees and Ameer Cajee may have freedom to travel even should South African authorities cancel their passports. The brothers were among those who recently bought passports from the island of Vanuatu, the Guardian reported earlier this month.
Such passports can be secured for around R2 million, and those who hold them can easily change their names, under permissive rules that seem all but designed for cash-rich people on the run.
Holders of Vanuatu passports can enter, without a visa, the European Union, the United Kingdom, and well over a hundred other countries.
(Compiled by Phillip de Wet)
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