Bitcaw Trading Company has refuted all links to an alleged Bitcoin scam being run by an entity identified by the Hawks as BTC Global.
On 25 May 2018 the Hawks released a statement saying that it had launched an investigation into a Bitcoin fraud scam that had cost South Africans almost R1 billion. The SAPS unit identified the alleged perpetrators as “Bitcaw Trading Company, commonly known as BTC Global”.
However, Bitcaw Trading has now hit back at the police unit, saying that it is in no way affiliated with BTC, and requested that the statement be retracted.
“While we appreciate that the Hawks are investigating BTC Global and the circumstances around the ‘investment opportunity”’ which folded earlier this year, we must clarify that BitCaw Trading is in no way related to BTC Global. Naming them as the same company has already had significant implications for the trustworthy and respected BitCaw Trading,” said Bitcaw MD, Andrew Caw.
According to Caw, BitCaw Trading is a legitimate operation that has assisted hundreds of people with buying and selling Bitcoin, while educating its clients on the basics of the cryptocurrency.
“BitCaw Trading does not manage or trade with third party money or offer any kind of investment returns. BitCaw has publicly taught clients how to avoid online scams,” Caw said.
BTC Global, meanwhile, was a questionable ‘Investment company’, based on a US Dollar investment, fronted in bitcoin by a relatively unknown man based in the United States, he said.
It was reported on Monday (28 May) that Bitcaw had sent a letter of demand to the Hawks, seeking for the unit’s statement to be withdrawn, or to have the matter taken to court.
According to Caw, the Hawks nor any of the investigators involved had ever made contact with his company, and to-date, still has not, instead choosing to make statements to the media.
“For a small business built on trust and reputation this has caused significant damage to us. In addition, this action has effectively shut down our new product launch which we have had to shelve after our financial services provider (FSP) partner has been forced by their internal policies to withdraw their support,” he said.
“Our legal team have requested that the Hawks retract the incorrect reference to BitCaw Trading in relation to their investigation, but the officers have apparently refused, again to the media without communicating with us directly.”
Speaking to Fin24, Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Malaudzi said that the unit has received Bitcaw’s letter of demand, but would not retract the statement. The unit, he said, will wait for the courts to make a ruling on the matter, rather than retract a statement prematurely.
“As far as we are concerned, our statements on the matter still stand unless we are convinced otherwise,” Mulaudzi said.