Hong Kong Security Chief Vows to Hunt Down JPEX Crypto Scam Ringleaders

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Key Takeaways

* Hong Kong Security Chief Chris Tang Ping-keung vows to hunt down ringleaders of JPEX, a crypto platform involved in the city’s largest alleged financial fraud.

* Police have arrested 15 individuals and seized assets worth HK$85 million ($10.8 million), including HK$8 million in cash.

* Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po emphasizes the need for a proper regulatory framework for Web3-related business ventures.

The Ongoing Investigation

Hong Kong’s Secretary for Security, Chris Tang Ping-keung, has pledged to apprehend the key operators behind JPEX, a cryptocurrency platform at the center of the city’s largest alleged financial fraud, according to SCMP. As of September 27, 2023, the police have arrested 15 individuals and seized more than HK$8 million ($1 million) in cash, along with other assets valued at HK$77 million ($9.8 million). These assets include real estate and digital currencies. The case involves suspected losses of HK$1.5 billion ($191.9 million) and has impacted more than 2,400 victims.

Regulatory Concerns

Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po stated that Hong Kong must regulate business ventures related to the next generation of the internet, known as Web3. “We must incorporate business operations related to Web3 into a proper regulatory framework and crack down on any illegal activities,” Chan said. Authorities aim to impose “balanced regulations” to protect investors and prevent money laundering risks.

The Arrests

Among the 15 arrested, one was Chung Wai-hin, a 23-year-old director of over-the-counter (OTC) cryptocurrency exchange store Money Lupin. Another was influencer Sheena Leung, who runs the YouTube channel “sheung-8888,” and a staff member of OTC cryptocurrency store Unicoin. On Monday, another director of Money Lupin, Wong Sheung-yin, was arrested.

Regulatory Oversight

The Securities and Futures Commission had earlier named JPEX as an unlicensed cryptocurrency exchange with “suspicious features.” Only two platforms, HashKey and OSL, have secured a license for retail cryptocurrency trading services in Hong Kong. Four other companies are pending approval.

Image source: Shutterstock

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