South African Bitcoin Trader Under Liquidation, Business Day Says

A provisional liquidation order has been granted against a South African Bitcoin trading company that is said to have received about 9.45 billion rand ($644 million) from as many as 280,000 investors, Business Day reported.

A Cape Town court gave the ruling after two urgent applications were filed by disgruntled clients unable to withdraw funds, the Johannesburg-based newspaper reported on Tuesday. South Africa’s Financial Sector Conduct Authority earlier this month said in a statement that it believes “Mirror Trading International and its senior management are conducting an illegal operation, misleading clients and have contravened several laws.”

The firm is unlicensed to provide financial services and has not applied for such a license, the FSCA said in the same statement surrounding its investigation into MTI. The investigation is ongoing and the regulator has opened a criminal case against the business, it said.

MTI Chief Executive Officer Cornelius Johannes Steynberg is believed to have left South Africa and is probably in Brazil, according to a letter to clients posted on a Telegram channel on December 22 by MTI management. The firm’s bank account has been suspended, the letter said.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

BQ Install

Bloomberg Quint

Add BloombergQuint App to Home screen.