Gauteng firm probed in R1bn crypto scam threatens to sue Hawks

Cape Town - A Bitcoin company fingered by the Hawks for being part of a major investment scam has threatened to sue, unless the priority crime investigating unit retracts its statement. 

Lawyers representing BitCaw Trading stated on Monday that the company was not aligned to BTC Global, as the Hawks claimed in their media release on Friday. 

The laywers said that BTC Global was a "completely separate entity".

This comes after the Hawks announced that BitCaw Trading and BTC Global were the same company, and were being jointly investigated for a scam that may have fleeced up to 28 000 investors out of R1bn. 

"BitCaw Trading does not manage or trade with third party money or offer any kind of investment returns," states the letter.  "BTC Global, on the other hand, was/is a Bitcoin Investment company and has nothing to do with our client."

The lawyer's letter further states that should the Hawks not retract their contention that the two companies are one and the same, and post the retraction by close of business on Tuesday, "our instructions are to approach the South Gauteng High Court on an urgent basis in order to enforce our clients’ rights". 

Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Malaudzi told Fin24 that the Hawks had received the letter of demand from BitCaw Trading, but said that because the investigations are ongoing, the Hawks would rather wait for the courts to decide if they had erred, than retract their statement prematurely.

"We got the letter. We knew that they would go to the media. We will take it on in line with the due process. We believe that it is good that people want this to be clarified by the courts, and we will handle it there. As far as we are concerned, our statements on the matter still stand unless we are convinced otherwise,” said Mulaudzi.

Mulaudzi told Fin24 that the Hawks had sufficient evidence to support their statements regarding the matter.

He said the company's rights would be protected if they have indeed been aggrieved. However, he added, the Hawks would not compromise on pursuing justice for the victims said to have been swindled by the business.

"This is not something we are prepared to be swayed on. You have up to 28 000 victims who have already approached the Hawks. What about them?

"If we don’t look after them, who are we supposed look after? I am more concerned for people like the poor lady who called me crying about why she has to pay over a thousand dollars to get sum she is entitled to," he said.

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