Willie Breedt, a South African accused of stealing seven-figures from local investors through his VaultAge Solutions scheme, is believed to have fled the country for Mozambique.
The story was reported by News24 on May 29, citing a representative of the South African Department of Home Affairs who indicated that he has not returned to the country since leaving for Mozambique on December 21.
Despite allegedly attracting over 2,000 investors, VaultAge Solutions was not registered with South Africa’s Financial Services Conduct Authority.
Local police investigate Breedt for fraud
VaultAge Solutions was founded in 2018, purporting to offer weekly returns on customer deposits through cryptocurrency mining and trading and accepting deposits from $50.
At the start of May, local reports indicated that South Africa’s Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, also known as “the Hawks,” had begun investigating the firm and its founder for fraud.
The investigation followed multiple instances of investors taking legal action against VaultAge who claimed to have received only 1% of expected returns after being provided doctored proof-of-payment documentation, or no returns at all.
Pensioners and doctors among Breedt’s victims
Hawks spokesperson Captain Matimba Maluleke stated that the police unit had received affidavits from numerous investors and a VaultAge Solutions administrator who had worked closely with Breedt.
Many investors are believed to have made investments equal to hundreds of thousands of U.S. dollars, including a doctor from Pretoria. Pensioners are also among the scheme’s victims, with Lettie Engelbrecht of Krugersdorp stating:
“We are pensioners and invested 200,000 rand [roughly $11,500]. From December until April, we received payments on the growth of our investment. Since then, we never got any money. We are desperate and living on a shoestring budget.”
Breedt avoids commenting on whereabouts
Breedt issued a statement to News24 claiming to be busy attending to other commitments, adding that “all the initial capital [will be] paid back by 31 May.” The accused scammer did not address questions concerning his whereabouts.
Breedt appears not to have made any repayments since issuing the statement, and reportedly has a history of making hollow promises of repayment.
The Hawks’ Colonel Katlego Mogale indicated that the case is still under investigation, adding that the department “cannot reveal any information at this stage.”