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Hong Kong Authorities Arrest Over 72 in Connection to JPEX Scandal

Summary:
Hong Kong authorities have arrested over 70 individuals linked to the HK.6 billion JPEX cryptocurrency scandal that shook the city-state. According to the latest report by SCMP, approximately HK0 million – worth around .37 million – in assets has been frozen, as disclosed by Police Commissioner Raymond Siu Chak-yee. Hong Kong Authorities Crack Down on JPEX In an update provided to the legislative body, Siu also revealed that the number of arrests in connection to the case has risen to 72, with around HK8 million under the freeze. The lawmakers were also informed that the police have received 2,636 reports concerning the case, and the amount stands at approximately HK.6 billion. Notably, among the previously detained individuals were social media influencers,

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Hong Kong authorities have arrested over 70 individuals linked to the HK$1.6 billion JPEX cryptocurrency scandal that shook the city-state.

According to the latest report by SCMP, approximately HK$230 million – worth around $29.37 million – in assets has been frozen, as disclosed by Police Commissioner Raymond Siu Chak-yee.

Hong Kong Authorities Crack Down on JPEX

In an update provided to the legislative body, Siu also revealed that the number of arrests in connection to the case has risen to 72, with around HK$228 million under the freeze.

The lawmakers were also informed that the police have received 2,636 reports concerning the case, and the amount stands at approximately HK$1.6 billion. Notably, among the previously detained individuals were social media influencers, such as Chan Wing-yee, Joseph Lam Chok, and Sheena Leung, who had promoted the trading platform through advertisements and established their own over-the-counter shops.

Responding to lawmaker Johnny Ng Kit-chong’s inquiry, Siu further went on to highlight that the police had recorded 6,330 investment scams, both offline and online, in the past year, resulting in losses exceeding HK$5.93 billion. Of these, 2,342 cases were linked to cryptocurrency, involving about HK$3.16 billion.

JPEX was one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in Hong Kong that collapsed after allegations of Ponzi scheme operations and money laundering surfaced in 2023. Several individuals tied with JPEX were subsequently arrested by the police.

As a result, Hong Kong regulators have stepped up and increased scrutiny over cryptocurrency exchanges operating in the region.

Hong Kong’s Regulatory Landscape

Cryptocurrency-related entities were given February 29th as the deadline to apply for the Virtual Asset Trading Platform (VATP) license by the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) following which the regulator announced that it has stopped accepting license applications. All non-compliant platforms were required to shut their business locally.

Several players pulled out before the deadline. This included Binance-linked HKVAEX and Justin Sun’s HTX.

Despite this, Hong Kong has maintained its stance as a crypto-friendly region and aims to position itself as a prominent hub in Asia. Hong Kong regulator even approved the first batch of spot cryptocurrency exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in April.

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