AAX’s Nigerian customers storm local office amid withdrawal halt

abdelaziz Fathi

According to the Nigerian media, angry consumers of the troubled crypto exchange AAX had stormed its local office hoping they can get their money back after the firm halted operations earlier in November.

According to reports, customers in Nigeria who have invested their money with AAX raided the AAX Lagos headquarter and harassed the staff available. A local crypto industry association urged angry users to be patient with the exchange’s staff as they also didn’t get their salaries after withdrawals were halted.

The statement from the Nigerian Blockchain Technology Association Stakeholders (SiBAN) reads:

“Therefore, we appeal to and discourage any dissatisfied or angry user or investor from harassing or victimizing the AAX Country Manager (Nigeria), other local staff members, and AAX ambassadors nationwide. These persons are also facing the same situation as disgruntled users and investors are. At the time of writing this notice, we are aware that communication between these persons and AAX headquarters has been equally strained at this time. We therefore appeal for understanding and patience from all Nigerian AAX users.”

The assault comes on the heels of the Hong Kong-based company halting client withdrawals on its platform three weeks ago. At the time, AAX said the move wasn’t part of a broader limit on activity in the wake of rival FTX’s collapse, which has caused chaos in the industry. It also confirmed that it had no financial exposure to FTX and its affiliates.

Instead, the crypto exchange cited the failure of a third-party partner, which caused some users’ balance data to be improperly recorded while scheduling a system upgrade. Hence, AAX halted its services to prevent further risks, while the technical team has had to manually proofread and restore the system to ensure accuracy of all users’ holdings.

AAX also said it expects to resume regular operations for all users within 7-10 days, but its staff will then review the withdrawal requests manually one by one in coordination with the security, operations, and compliance teams. But as the events unfold, the exchange acknowledged that it faced an unprecedented crisis that has led to acute pressure on AAX’s capital position.

In its latest twist, AAX said it needs to raise new capital in order to resume its services. “While this is clearly a very difficult environment in which to raise new capital, the amount is not large by market standards,” it claims.

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