FSCA launches process of recovering looted funds by MTI. The first recovery transaction comprised over 1200 Bitcoins which were transferred in the accounts of official liquidators for onward transfer to real beneficiaries.
MTI, a so-called crypto trading platform, is a worldwide notorious scammer, which is banned in most of the jurisdictions. The latest jurisdiction to initiate crackdown operation against MTI was South Africa. However, the perpetrators had absconded but the platform had been seized by Financial Sector Conduct Authority of South Africa (FSCA).
It was reported recently that a transaction comprising of Bitcoins had been carried out through MTI. It was informed that at least 1200 Bitcoins were stuck in the notorious trading platform in June 2020. These Bitcoins were lying in the account of MTI which was maintained by it with FX Choice, another crypto trading platform.
Last year in August, FX Choice was forced to block account services to MTI because MTI was found non-complacent with the regulations of FSCA. However, the latest transaction of Bitcoin from MTI through FX Choice raised suspicion and concerns. This led FX Choice to clarify the purpose of the transaction and on whose behalf of it was carried out.
It was apprised by FX Choice that the Bitcoin transaction indeed took place on 29th March, 2021. However, it was duly sanctioned by and carried out on the express directions of FSCA. FX Choice told that the funds were part of those funds which were frozen by FSCA itself. In fact the funds have been transferred to the account which was intimated by FSCA and belonged to FSCA nominated liquidators. The firm also told that they had done what they were asked to do so and from their end the transaction is now concluded.
Another thing which everyone noticed that FX Choice did not disclose as to how many Bitcoins were transferred. This fact was duly disclosed by FSCA itself which apprised the exact numbers of transferred Bitcoins i.e. 1200. The disclosure of the transaction was duly broadcasted in a podcast message authored by FSCA’s Incharge of Investigations namely Brandon Topham.
Tophan endorsed carrying out of the transaction and also confirmed that the funds were transferred to official liquidators.
MTI’s fraud was unearthed last year when two of its customers appeared before the Court and sought relief against MTI. They complained that they had lodged funds withdrawal requests, however, the firm is not acting upon the requests. The Court then ordered appointment of official liquidator for ensure transfer of funds to their original beneficiaries.
However, it seems that the official liquidators have started recovering process. But the 1200 Bitcoins are only a fraction of what was in fact looted by MTI. The scam caused by MTI was considered the biggest scam of 2020.