SA Bitcoin trader MTI under liquidation, CEO flees

Earlier this month, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority announced that Mirror Trading International appeared to have mislead investors on the Bitcoin trading platform. After an investigation into the firm’s operations, the authority found that the company was not licensed to provide financial services and that it had broken several laws. Two law firms, Luitingh and Associates and Vezi and De Beer Attorneys filed separate claims against MTI. Their clients had been unable to withdraw funds. The Cape High Court has granted a provisional liquidation order against the cryptocurrency platform. Luitingh and Associates released a statement saying, “The Master of the High Court will now appoint a provisional liquidator to urgently take control of assets and liabilities at MTI.” – Melani Nathan

South African bitcoin trader under liquidation, Business Day says

By Roxanne Henderson

(Bloomberg) –A provisional liquidation order has been granted against a South African Bitcoin trading company that is said to have received about R9.45bn ($644m) 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.”

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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.

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