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Important: Luno Naira Deposits and Withdrawals Currently Disabled

As you may be aware, Luno has been unable to process Naira withdrawals since Friday, 31 March.

These are what Luno has to say admist the issue of Nigerians operating their service unable to withdraw cash from their account.

"The reason is that our bank account at Stanbic IBTC, which contains the vast majority of customer funds, has been frozen due to an unforeseen third party issue beyond their control.

All customer funds are safe and accounted for in the account. Right now we are unable to make any payments out of the account until it is unfrozen. For the time being, we ask you to refrain from funding your account with Naira."


Luno NGN Naira Stanbicibtc freeze


WHAT CAN BE DONE IN THE MEANTIME


Naira deposits and withdrawals are currently disabled. All other services, such as buying, selling, trading, sending and receiving Bitcoin remain unaffected.

If you have a pending withdrawal that you’d like to cancel, you can do so by opening the “transactions” screen, tapping on the withdrawal and then pressing the “cancel” button. The NGN amount will then be refunded to your wallet. It is of course still possible to convert NGN to BTC and withdraw BTC.

We have been working on integrating a new debit card payment method through a different bank. We will accelerate this project and hope to enable debit card deposits soon. However, we will still be unable to process withdrawals until the bulk of customer funds in our Stanbic IBTC account are unfrozen.


WHY THE ACCOUNT WAS FROZEN


In short, a fraudster stole the identity of a victim (not a Luno customer) and managed to access the victim’s bank account. The fraudster then created an account at Luno, using the stolen identity, and transferred the victim’s money to Luno and converted it to Bitcoin. Once the victim discovered the theft, they reported it to the police who obtained a court order to freeze Luno’s entire bank account (not just the fraudulent amount).

The police and court were unaware that Luno was a business serving thousands of customers and that blocking the account would affect thousands of people, not just this one individual payment. We believe that this was a huge mistake made by the police and court. We are in the process of fixing it now, but unfortunately due to the bureaucratic processes involved it will take time (more details below).

What we are doing and how long it will take
Since we first discovered this, the victim has withdrawn their case. However, once a court order has been issued, it cannot be simply reversed. We must obtain a new court order to unfreeze the account from a higher court. We are working with our legal team to do this as fast as possible but unfortunately it is a slow and bureaucratic process.

The current estimate for re-activation of the bank account is 3-4 weeks. We are doing everything we can to sort out this problem as quickly as possible."

These are the words from Luno committee to cool off the high tension, hopefully they get back on their feet on-time.

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