2 AAX executives arrested in Hong Kong on Fraud charges

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Key Takeaways:

  • Hong Kong police arrested two executives of the AAX cryptocurrency exchange.
  • Since the portal was halted, the 2 million registered users of the AAX exchange have been unable to access their money.

According to local media sources, the Hong Kong police have arrested two executives of the crypto exchange AAX on charges of fraud and misrepresenting the police. On December 23, police arrested former AAX CEO Thor Chan and Weigao Capital CEO Liang Haoming. 

Authorities in the region accused them of exploiting the excuse of “system maintenance” to stop customers from withdrawing money when there were liquidity issues. One of the executives is also suspected of deceiving law enforcement officials by lying to them about the timing of his actions while employed by the business.

Two AAX executives’ homes and bank accounts have been suspended. Police believe that a third executive left the country in possession of secret keys and an AAX wallet containing around $30 million in digital assets. The police in Hong Kong took his belongings. Hong Kong officials are actively collaborating with international investigators in the inquiry to find the money.

Two million registered customers of the Hong Kong-based company have been unable to access their money since the portal was taken down for “system maintenance” in the middle of November. Over 337 reports from victims in China, Taiwan, Italy, and France have been sent to the local authorities since then. One hundred ninety of them were residents of the area. A few hundred Hong Kong dollars to 12.6 million yuan were lost, and 98 million yuan were implicated.

On November 14, AAX suspended withdrawals due to a system update bug at the exchange. However, despite speculations to the contrary, the firm reassured its users that the withdrawal freeze had nothing to do with the implosion of Sam Bankman Fried’s FTX.

A few weeks later, the vice president of worldwide marketing and communications at AAX made his resignation known. Ben Caselin announced his departure from the crypto exchange on Twitter and said that the suggested projects were rejected despite his attempts to advance the community. He characterized his communication position as “hollow.”

Users in Nigeria started harassing former staff members of AAX’s Lagos branch after AAX’s activities were shut down.

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