Hong Kong Police Make More Arrests in JPEX Case

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  • Hong Kong police have recently frozen assets worth over US$29 million linked to the collapsed cryptocurrency exchange JPEX
  • The total number of individuals arrested in connection to JPEX, including employees and influencers, has now reached 72
  • More than 2,600 customers were impacted when the exchange shut down last September

Hong Kong police officials announced recently that they had frozen assets exceeding US$29 million associated with JPEX, the cryptocurrency exchange that collapsed last September. This has resulted in more arrests, taking the total number of individuals tied to the exchange’s operations, including employees and social media influencers, to 72. The JPEX scandal rocked Hong Kong last year when some $200 million was reported lost by more than 2,600 customers when the platform halted withdrawals.

JPEX Investigation Far From Over

The JPEX scandal has been labeled one of Hong Kong’s largest alleged financial fraud cases, having first come to light seven months ago following allegations from the securities watchdog, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), accusing the exchange of unlicensed operations and suspicious activities.

Arrests began soon afterward as the platform defied the regulator and hit customers with exorbitant withdrawal fees. Arrests began soon afterward, with the tally hitting 26 within a few weeks, including television star Cheng Chun-hei.

According to Police Commissioner Raymond Siu, over 2,600 people suffered losses totaling an estimated $206 million following the eventual collapse of the platform, yet authorities have still not identified the company or individuals behind the defunct exchange, nor their whereabouts.

SFC Taking Steps to Avoid Repeat

The SFC has taken action against influential figures who promoted JPEX, including influencer Joseph Lam and Feng Shui expert Clement Chan as the arrests have soared to 72, with one suspect found destroying documents in a bathtub with bleach. 

The SFC has already announced that it is putting measures in place to avoid another JPEX-type scandal, including categorizing operators as licensed, closing-down, and deemed licensed. It will also keep a list of crypto exchanges with questionable practices.