As the dreams of South Africans who put their money in Bitcoin Wallet hoping to double their money in 15 working days went up in smoke, so too did the property of the alleged operator of the cryptocurrency scam.
According to the Times, angry investors in the alleged Ponzi scheme set on fire a house and other properties belonging to Sphelele ‘Sgumza’ Mbatha, the operator of the scam which was based in Kwa-Zulu Natal’s rural town of Ladysmith.
Scammer’s ‘lambo’ not spared either
Among the items that were damaged in the blaze included a luxury vehicle belonging to Sgumza.
@Abramjee A investors in a ‘pyramid scheme’ called Bitcoin Wallet own by Sphelele known a Sgumza in Ladysmith, KZN, burned his home. This after he closed his offices. @IOL and @LdyGazette & reported extensively about this scheme. pic.twitter.com/8EtSFi7uCi
— StoneCold (@stonezn) July 10, 2019
Prior to setting the house was set on fire, Sgumza’s house had also been looted with furniture and electronic items taken and driven away in a bakkie (light truck). It was not clear whether the looting was done by genuine Bitcoin Wallet’s investors or opportunists.
The angry mob had earlier been hunting for Sgumza to no avail. The hunt started on Tuesday night when frustrated investors flocked to Bitcoin Wallet’s premises trying to get back their money after news that the investment scheme had collapsed spilled out.
In the process, the staff of the firm were assaulted by the angry investors before being frogmarched to the local police station. False reports that Sgumza had been arrested had also led to a crowd forming at the Ladysmith police station.