Authorities in the Central African Republic have arrested a man named Bryan Ndikum, suspected to be one of the masterminds behind a fraudulent scheme that resulted in the loss of funds for many investors, including high-level politicians, senior civil servants, and traders. The scam involved a crypto firm called Clé du Succès (“key to success”), which the accused allegedly operated from Bangui, the capital of the CAR. Ndikum, a Cameroonian national, was apprehended in Berberati, where he was apparently setting up a regional office for Clé du Succès. The police believe that Ndikum’s associates, described as Nigerians and Cameroonians, have already fled the country. The accused are expected to face charges of fraud and breach of trust.

A photograph of Bryan Ndikum, believed to be an executive at Clé du Succès, published by Journal de Bangui. (Source: Journal de Bangui/Screenshot)

The accused reportedly ran an advertising campaign promoting cryptocurrency. They used Bitcoin logos in their marketing materials and promised investors a 20% return on their investment. However, after fake reports of an armed attack near the capital, the Clé du Succès executives disappeared, allegedly taking over $1.6 million worth of cryptocurrency and fiat money with them. Even the employees of the company have no idea about the whereabouts of the executives. The closure of the company’s office and the uncertainty surrounding the situation have left both staff members and customers in a state of confusion.

Crypto adoption has been growing in the Central African Republic and the greater Sub-Saharan Africa region. Last year, the CAR government announced the acceptance of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as legal tender. However, the National Assembly later repealed the decree, disappointing Bitcoin enthusiasts.

A graph showing crypto transaction volume by transfer size in various global regions between July 2022 and June 2023.
Source: Chainalysis

The future of the individuals responsible for the CAR ‘rug pull’ remains uncertain as the investigation continues.


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