Hong Kong and Macau Authorities Arrest Four More JPEX Crypto Scandal Suspects
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Hong Kong and Macau Police have arrested four more people associated with the JPEX crypto exchange. So far, 18 people have been detained in connection to the ongoing case.
Hong Kong and Macau police today arrested four additional individuals “relatively close to the core” of the JPEX crypto exchange, per a SCMP report.
Two Hong Kong residents have been apprehended in Macau, and authorities have confiscated HK$6.5 million (US $830,390) in cash and valuable assets, in addition to freezing HK$8.2 million held in their casino accounts. One suspect was reportedly found attempting to destroy evidence using paper shredders and bleach.
With the latest arrests, the number of individuals in custody has now reached a total of 18. A total of HK$24 million (approximately $3 million) has also been seized. The police are actively pursuing other fugitives, the report said.
During a press briefing today, Chung Wing-man, the assistant police commissioner, stated that the scale of the syndicate is big, with an anticipated loss exceeding HK$1.5 billion.
On September 18, Hong Kong authorities arrested influencer Joseph Lam following a formal complaint against JPEX, referred to Hong Kong police by the China Securities Regulatory Commission. The complaint alleged fraudulent activities conducted by those behind the exchange.
Prior to today’s arrests, other Hong Kong influencers including Chan Wing-yee and Sheena Leung, had also been apprehended for setting up their individual over-the-counter cryptocurrency exchange businesses.
The Ongoing JPEX Saga
On September 13, Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) issued a public warning regarding JPEX’s business practices. According to the SFC, the platform was aggressively marketing its services to the local population through online influencers and over-the-counter trading firms.
The SFC highlighted that neither JPEX nor any of its associated entities have obtained the requisite licenses or even applied to become a regulated entity in Hong Kong’s virtual asset trading space.
Blockchain data analysis company reported that the JPEX wallet address has seen multiple inflows of risky funds in the past 20 months, involving online gambling and money laundering.
According to SCMP, the company also noticed an “unusual outflow” of 7.21 million USDTs out of JPEX wallets between September 13 and 20, causing concerns among users that the platform might be executing a rugpull.
In response to the case, the SFC said that it will publish a list of licensed virtual asset trading platforms.
Claiming to be based in Dubai, JPEX has continued its operations. However, access to its services from Hong Kong has been restricted.
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