An FBI investigation into South Africa’s crypto firm, Mirror Trading International (MTI), is ongoing.
Mirror Trading International (MTI) is one of the biggest crypto firms in South Africa. However, the company has since been facing stiff competition from rivals that are now providing more support to users and investors alike.
Most have extensive offerings of digital assets, fiat currencies, commodities futures trading as well as forex services.
MTI still remains one of the most popular providers for Bitcoin Futures on Localbitcoins. But it seems unlikely they will be able to make up their losses anytime soon if at all with this new competition looming over them like an ominous storm cloud.
Joint Efforts To Recover Stolen Crypto
If the recent report published by Bloomberg is anything to go by, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is working with MTI’s liquidators to help several US and local investors recoup their investments that are tied up in the company’s now-defunct business practices.
Trouble started when Mirror Trading International had hackers knocking on their doors (and eventually getting in). Unwanted guests, huh? You can call them that.
The hacking, which happened in November 2020, had 260,000 members across the world affected and over 230,000 Bitcoin being stolen as well.
Though a long shot, authorities are now trying to recover the lost crypto assets. That didn’t mark the end of their misery, though. The Mirror Trading International company was placed in bankruptcy after the South African financial regulators called them a Ponzi scheme.
Mirror Trading International liquidators, a group of five trustees, had meetings with international law enforcement agencies like the FBI.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is joining forces with them in order to protect the several U.S and local investors from illegal trading schemes such as Mirror Trading International’s (MTI).
MTI was shut down by FINMA after it failed an audit for $1 billion worth of suspicious transactions over three years according.
FBI joined forces with these firms in order to save various American and foreign citizens from illegal financial schemes that mirror those used at Mirror Trading International.
Rough Season For Cryptocurrencies
The crypto market has seen a lot of scams, hacks, and frauds since the start of 2021; with one being $3.6 billion worth from Africrypt founders Raees and Ameer Cajee who disappeared in June 2019 to South African authorities investigating it en masse now.
In a new development, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York charged an Australian national on February 20th with operating a $90 million crypto hedge fund scam.
The accused allegedly made false representations to investors about his own cryptocurrency trading track record in order to solicit funds from them and then transferred these investments into personal bank accounts instead of investing them as promised.
This is just one example among many international scams that have been reported over recent years amid increased popularity and acceptance of digital currencies such as Bitcoin or Ethereum.
In early 2021, for instance, MTI was hit by what may be considered South Africa’s worst-ever cyber-attack after its CEO disappeared without any trace. Following this incident, investigations are still ongoing.
The joint liquidators also said that there is no video or photo evidence to confirm if he left the country, and despite a paper trail indicating his possible flight attempt to Brazil, they couldn’t find any confirmation either.
There are some people who have fallen victim to the crypto investment scams on Instagram.
These scammers post pictures of themselves with designer clothes and fancy cars in order to lure unsuspecting victims into giving their money, but these photos can be deceiving because they may not actually own any of those items.
The recent cases show that cryptocurrency fraud is most prevalent in Nigeria where criminals use social media platforms such as Facebook or Instagram to prey upon gullible investors by promising them high returns on investments if only you give your funds today.
The following criminal activities involve: $12 million were stolen from an individual’s email; a Nigerian citizen lost around 100 Bitcoins worth over half a million dollars after being targeted through WhatsApp messages; fake websites ask for personal information which then leads to a possible scam.