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CryptoFintechSouth Africa

South African Associate of GS Partners Crypto and Metaverse Scheme Arrested!

Neil Leon De Waal, a South African associate of the controversial investment scheme GS Partners, was reportedly arrested by South African authorities in late May 2024, and released on bail on June 3 2024 at R15,000 with strict bi-weekly check-ins.

Gold Standard Partners is a controversial investment scheme allegedly incorporating multiple elements, including crypto, metaverse, and NFTs, and has sought to establish a presence in the South African nation.

In December 2023, multiple U.S. states ordered GS Partners to halt operations, accusing the company of defrauding investors in a number of crypto schemes, including tokenized pieces of a Dubai skyscraper and stakes of metaverse property.

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On his Instagram, De Waal features several photos promoting Gold Standard Bank, and a related ‘metaverse’ NFT scheme, Lydian World. Both fall under the banner of GS Partners (GSP). GSB is of no relation to Standard Bank South Africa.

The G999 cryptocurrency and a company called Swiss Valorem Bank are also linked to GSP.

De Waal, a self-proclaimed network marketing guru offering coaching and mentorship services with the promise of financial freedom, also describes himself on Instagram as a lifestyle and wealth entrepreneur as well as a crypto enthusiast.

In November 2023, South Africa’s Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA ) warned potential investors to be wary of GS Partners (Gold Standard Partners) which had been offering unrealistic returns. FSCA said the scheme was not licensed in South Africa and had attracted scrutiny from regulators in 10 other jurisdictions in Canada and the U.S.

The company had been luring investors with promises of returns as high as 22% a week. If you invested R1,000 ($52.86) initially and simply left it invested for a year, that would work out to just under R30 million ($1.5 million).

The investigation into De Waal began after a complaint from one of his victims from Benoni, South Africa, and had to hire a private investigator in Cape Town to locate him. Despite the ongoing investigation, De Waal allegedly recruited a new GS Partners investor in May 2023.

Although the exact timeline is unclear, an arrest warrant for De Waal was issued in December 2023. He was taken into custody after disembarking from a flight in South Africa.

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