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Hong Kong Security Chief Vows to Find JPEX Leader

2 mins
Updated by Geraint Price
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In Brief

  • Hong Kong's security chief Paul Tang emphasized the police's determination in tracking down the mastermind of the alleged fraud at JPEX.
  • Police have arrested 12 individuals, including YouTubers and a social media promoter, and seized about $11 million in cash and property.
  • Hong Kong's former SFC Commissioner Anthony Neoh has defended the Commission against allegations it reacted too slowly to end the fraud.
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Hong Kong’s security minister, Chris Tang Ping-keung, has vowed to apprehend the leader of fraud crimes at crypto exchange JPEX. Police confirmed they were seeking assistance from Interpol in rounding up the leaders of JPEX.

He said that further details could not be disclosed without additional evidence, but that police had contacted several celebrities involved in promoting the platform.

“Police are doing their best to locate the whereabouts of the leader of the platform. This is definitely a major factor in their investigation,” the minister said.

Hong Kong Police Arrest Celebrities Ahead of JPEX Leaders

To date, Hong Kong police have arrested 12 people, including JPEX employees, staff from crypto stores, and online influencers. Among those arrested are YouTubers Chan Wing-yee and Chu Ka-fai, celebrities Julian Cheung Chi-Lam, Jacqueline Ch’ng Se Min, and Clement Chan Ting-bong, and social media influencer Joseph Lam Chok.

Read more: How To Create a Crypto Marketing Strategy

They are suspected of conspiracy to commit fraud through operating an unlicensed crypto exchange. The arrests came after police received over 2,300 complaints from customers. 

Police also seized $1 million in cash and $9.9 million in real estate and crypto related to the fraud. Early estimates peg JPEX customer losses at around $192 million.

Hong Kong JPEX leaders, tech crimes, losses, JPEX ringleader, JPEX mastermind, JPEX chief
Hong Kong tech crime figures | Source: Techloy

The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) started warning customers about trading on unlicensed exchanges in July last year. Following the JPEX fraud, it advised investors not to believe every exchange’s claim about having applied for a license.

Former Hong Kong SFC Chief Says Regulations Held Up Arrests

The Commission’s former chair, Anthony Neoh, chair has defended the SFC against accusations it acted too slowly.

“The regulation on virtual assets did not come into effect until June 1 this year, so the commission had no legal powers prior to that. The regulator made the judgment with the best information or best intent, and I do not believe they acted in any bad faith.”

So far, only two exchanges, HashKey and OSL, have secured a license after the SFC enforced new rules in June. Applications from four other companies, HKVAX, HKBitEx, Hong Kong BGE, and Victory Fintech Company, are pending approval.

Returning from an official trip to Europe, Hong Kong’s Financial Secretary, Paul Chan Mo-po, said that while the city acknowledges trends around blockchain technology, the government must take action against illegal activities.

Find the best peer-to-peer crypto trading platforms here.

Do you have something to say about the intentions of Hong Kong police to track down JPEX leaders, new regulations recently passed by the SFC, or anything else? Please write to us or join the discussion on our Telegram channel. You can also catch us on TikTokFacebook, or X (Twitter).

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David Thomas
David Thomas graduated from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal in Durban, South Africa, with an Honors degree in electronic engineering. He worked as an engineer for eight years, developing software for industrial processes at South African automation specialist Autotronix (Pty) Ltd., mining control systems for AngloGold Ashanti, and consumer products at Inhep Digital Security, a domestic security company wholly owned by Swedish conglomerate Assa Abloy. He has experience writing software in C,...