MTI placed in provisional liquidation and damage could be huge

Written by Ciaran Ryan. Posted in Journalism

Provisional liquidator to be appointed in the next few days to establish what happened to the estimated 23 000 bitcoin – worth R9.45bn. From Moneyweb.

Recovery Action Group hastily convened to represent as many of the 280 000 members as possible. Image: Shutterstock
Recovery Action Group hastily convened to represent as many of the 280 000 members as possible. Image: Shutterstock

The Cape High Court placed bitcoin investment scheme Mirror Trading International (MTI) in provisional liquidation on Tuesday (December 29).

The court order instructs the sheriff to attach all property that appears to belong to MTI in all provinces and submit an inventory to the Master of the Cape High Court.

No one from MTI turned up in court to defend the action. 

A group called Recovery Action Group (RAG) was hastily convened over the last few days to represent as many of the estimated 280 000 members as possible to speak with one voice before the court and the regulators.

There was a fear that multiple liquidators were circling MTI with a view to feasting on its carcass, but in the end, the court granted the provisional liquidation order to MTI member Anton Lee, who had been trying unsuccessfully to withdraw funds from the company since December 21.

Tracking down the trades

A provisional liquidator will be appointed within the next few days to commence the mammoth task of tracking down the assets of senior MTI management and leaders.

Moneyweb has been inundated with emails from members as far afield as the US, Canada and Mexico asking for news about the fate of their investments.

Advocate Vaughn Victor, a cybersecurity and crypto expert who is part of the team representing Lee, says it now appears that investors shipped roughly 23 000 bitcoin (worth R9.45 billion at current prices) to MTI.

Most of this was done within the last seven months – well after the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) issued warnings to the public to steer clear of the company which lured investors from all over the world with promises of returns of up to 10% per month.

Ciaran Ryan

The Writer's Room is a curated by Ciaran Ryan, who has written on South African affairs for Sunday Times, Mail & Guardian, Financial Mail, Finweek, Noseweek, The Daily Telegraph, Forbes, USA Today, Acts Online and, among others. In between he manages a gold mining operation in Ghana, and previously worked in Congo. Most of his time is spent in the lovely city of Joburg.