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More Complaints and Arrests as Alleged JPEX Fraud Unravels

2 mins
Updated by Michael Washburn
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In Brief

  • Cryptocurrency exchange JPEX faces charges of unlicensed operations and is the subject of many complaints from former customers.
  • Police have made arrests and a number of telecom firms have blocked access to all JPEX trading services through their websites.
  • In spite of the turmoil, Hong Kong leans toward broader acceptance and adoption of cryptocurrency, and stablecoin in particular.
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Still more people have come forth with complaints about JPEX, a crypto exchange that authorities in Hong Kong have charged with operating without a license, and local police continue to make arrests.

As in the cases of other crypto exchanges, Dubai-headquartered JPEX enjoyed the support of influencers with wide social media followings. But now they too face potential prosecution as the full scale of the fraud JPEX perpetrated comes to light.

Alleged JPEX Fraud Triggers Website Blocking

According to a Thursday report in the Hong Kong Free Press, some telecom firms have received, and obeyed, requests from the police to block JPEX from appearing on their websites.

At present, telecom operators Three, CSL mobile, and SmarTone no longer facilitate online access to JPEX trading.

In addition, the official tally of victims of JPEX’s malfeasance continues to rise. An earlier report said that authorities had received 1,408 complaints concerning fraud on the part of JPEX.

But the Hong Kong Free Press divulges that the number of victims now stands at 2,086. And that the total amount lost to JPEX’s unlicensed activities is HK$1.3 billion. A figure that may well continue to climb as the alleged scam unravels and more victims come forward.

Learn more about Hong Kong regulators’ efforts to promote transparency and integrity in the DeFi market.

Hong Kong is poised to adopt comprehensive stablecoin guidelines, and take advantage of stablecoin’s popularity, in spite of the unfolding JPEX scandal. Source: CryptoQuant

JPEX Still Bullish as Police Continue to Make Arrests

So far, Hong Kong police have arrested six people in connection with the case. Prominent among them are influencers Chan Wing-yee and Joseph Lam Chok. Only time will tell how many more people fall into the police dragnet as the scandal unfolds.

The dramatic events come in the midst of what was shaping up as a positive moment for cryptocurrency in Hong Kong. A prominent lawmaker, Duncan Chiu, said he expects the territory to codify official rules for stablecoin issuers by next year.

In spite of the scandal and the arrests, JPEX continues to promote itself as a dependable trading platform, with no public acknowledgment of all its woes.

On its website, JPEX promotes itself as a reputable exchange that traders and investors should have no reservations about using.

The website is highly selective about what it tells prospective customers. One would not know, from reading the language on the site, the JPEX had operated without a license in Hong Kong. Or that it is the target of an aggressve probe that has already netted several arrests.

“JP – EX Crypto Asset Platform Party Ltd is a licensed and recognized platform to facilitate the trading of digital asset and virtual currency. JPEX aims to provide a safe and reliable international currency buying platform,” the website states.

The exchange also proudly describes its plans “to promote the JPEX virtual currency platform to all parts of the world.” With plans to apply for more licenses, including crypto asset digital licenses from US financial institutions.

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Michael Washburn
Michael Washburn is a New York-based managing editor who joined BeInCrypto in March 2023. Over his career, he written extensively about the corporate legal world and the intersection of finance and law, has produced thousands of articles and features, and has mentored many reporters and researchers finding their way in a fast-changing industry.
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