- Three hundred thirty-seven suffered user complaints against the AAX’s illegal activity.
- The exchange victims have lost around HK$98 million.
- The third criminal fled away with an exchange wallet containing $30M in funds.
The two masterminds got arrested
According to local media, two executives of the crypto exchange AAX (Atom asset Exchange) were arrested by the Hong Kong police for fraud and misleading the police. Since November 16, the police have started receiving complaints from the victims.
The Commercial Crime Investigation Bureau of the police is handling the case. On December 23, Weigao Capital CEO Liang Haoming and former AAX CEO Thor Chan were arrested because, in the middle of the last month, AAX shut down for “system maintenance.” As an outcome of this action, users are not able to check the balance of their account as well as they are unable to transfer or withdraw their funds.
The 337 suffering customers have complained about the exchange activity from China, Taiwan, Italy, and France and 190 local victims. Users have lost around HK$98 million. The local police have frozen two bank accounts of the firm and the bank account of the two executives.
Reportedly, the third executive left the country with an AAX wallet and private keys. The police believe that the wallet contains nearly $30 million in digital assets. The authorities have sealed the third executive’s property in Hong Kong. Hong Kong investigating authorities are coordinating with overseas investigators to track the funds.
After a few weeks of this issue, AAX’s global marketing and communications vice president declared his resignation. Ben Caselin revealed on Twitter that he had left the organization. He added that the organization did not accept his proposal to fight for the community.
AAX’s executives played the mind game
On November 12, the AAX announced that it would pause its operations because of system maintenance and updates. Therefore, users cannot process basic activities such as buying, selling or withdrawing. On November 13, the organization stated that the system would extend 7-10 days for maintenance because of some abnormality in the system.
This all continues till December 16; the users can not even login into their accounts and check their account balance. During this activity, the third executive, “the mastermind,” fled away, and the two executives got arrested. The investigation revealed that the criminals used a “system maintenance” excuse to off-track the customers.