Scam alert: Coin-it associates may be lawbreakers, warns financial regulator

(File, iStock)
(File, iStock)

Financial regulator the Financial Sector Conduct Authority has warned the public not to enter into any agreements with unauthorised entities associated with Coin-it Trading.

The warning, issued on Thursday, comes after the regulator was made aware of a letter from Coin-it management advising investors that their contracts would be transferred to other associated companies.

The companies were not named, the FSCA said.

On August 30 2019, the FSCA launched an investigation into Coin-it and related entity Commex Minerals, for suspected breaches of financial sector laws. This included a search and seizure operation by FSCA investigators at their shared premises in Dundee, KwaZulu-Natal.

On 24 September, a case was opened with the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations – better known as the Hawks – for further investigation.

That investigation is still underway, with the Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) having recently obtained preservation orders against some bank accounts linked to the two parties investigated, namely directors Michael Andrew Anthony de Beer of Coin-it and Ursula de Beer of Commex.

The AFU is now tracing their assets, the FSCA said.

"Neither Coin-it or Commex, nor its directors […] are licensed to conduct any financial services or receive deposits from the public.

"The recent correspondence by Coin-it management to transfer investors to alternate, unnamed companies would once again be in breach of financial sector law, should these companies also not be licensed financial service providers," the FSCA said.

According to Coin-it's website – which is not secure – the entity wants investors' "coffers to overflow". Coin-it claims to specialise in property and asset management, and promises investors a guaranteed monthly income "for at least 36 months".

It further promises "high returns" for a "small investment". 

"You start seeing money back from the first month," it says. "Once your unit is paid for, you will see only profit until the end of your contract."

But a complaint on customer review site hellopeter.com, which cites the raid on Coin-it by authorities, warns: "Investors be warned, your money is gone."

An attorney for Coin-it and Commex, Mazana Maphumulo, previously denied wrongdoing.

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