Updates on Hong Kong cryptocurrency platform JPEX scam: police arrest three more suspects, more than 2,086 cases reported, Julian Cheung assists police in the investigation.
An update on the alleged fraud of Hong Kong cryptocurrency platform JPEX. Following the arrests of Jo Lam and YouTuber Chan Yee, police arrested three more people involved in the case on Thursday, namely a 31-year-old YouTuber surnamed Zhu, a 32-year-old man surnamed Huang, and a 25-year-old man surnamed Mok. As of Sept. 21, police had arrested 11 suspects and did not rule out the possibility of additional arrests. In addition, the HongKong police summoned Hong Kong star Julian Cheung to assist with the investigation.
Police said that as of 5 p.m. Wednesday, the number of cases reported to the police amounted to 2,086, involving about HK$1.3 billion.
On September 19, Hong Kong star Julian Cheung received a summons from Wan Chai Police to assist in an investigation because he was a brand ambassador for JPEX in Hong Kong. A statement issued by the agency said that the artist received an invitation from JPEX through an advertising company in March last year to shoot an advertisement for the company, but the company was informed of the termination of the cooperation last September after JPEX was warned by the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC). The agency also said it had asked JPEX in writing not to use Cheung's image for promotion before obtaining a license to operate in Hong Kong, adding that it would reserve the right to pursue responsibility.
The three suspects arrested by the police include Hong Kong crypto KOL Chu Ka Fai, known as "Zhu Gong Zi"(which means younger master surnamed Zhu), who is the founder of the Kt Club, an over-the-counter (OTC) exchange, as well as the owner of a YouTube channel that teaches people how to invest. The self-proclaimed "post-90s investment expert" often shared virtual currency information on social media.
The arrested man surnamed Wong is the owner of the restaurant Bored Garden, Rico.Xenophon, also known as B-Box artist dR.X. He is also a director of the restaurant's company, Ape Food Group Ltd. The restaurant, located on Wellington Street, Hong Kong, has not been open since Wong's arrest. He used to market cryptocurrencies and claimed that he made his restaurant money by investing in cryptocurrencies.
The arrested man, surnamed Mok, is allegedly Mok Joon Ting, who is associated with the Australian registered company JP-EX Crypto Asset Platform Pty Ltd. In February 2019, Mok was arrested along with Wong Jing Git for allegedly tricking victims into purchasing a mining machine, with a total amount of HK$3 million involved. It is reported that Wong has also worked with JPEX.
JPEX has released a number of statements about Hong Kong clients and the Hong Kong SFC since September 13th to date.
On September 13th, JPEX said that the company had expressed its intention to apply for a Hong Kong crypto trading license at the end of February this year, and it has been making preparations for the license application but has not formally submitted the application or made public updates. However, due to the "unfair suppression (to JPEX) by the SFC," the company will consider withdrawing its application. The company even accused the SFC of "undermining the prospects of cryptocurrency development in Hong Kong" and should "bear full responsibility" for it.
Last week, JPEX faced a flood of withdrawal requests claiming to have been "unfairly treated" by the SFC and is facing operational difficulties after adjusting withdrawal fees and some of their business functions.
JPEX also responded to the Hong Kong regulator's statement this week. It denied the claims that the platform had ceased trading operations and that the company had never contacted the SFC, attaching screenshots of some of the emails.
With several people involved in the case arrested by the police, JPEX even dared to take the chance to promote its so-called "DAO Stakeholders Dividend Plan" to encourage investors to convert their assets.
In response to the question about the company's location, JPEX also argued that the physical company's structure is not conducive to promoting cryptocurrencies globally due to geographical boundaries and admitted that the company's team doesn't have a fixed location as an office.
However, in response to JPEX's announcements, the SFC stated that JPEX's disclosure of its confidential correspondence with the SFC's Enforcement Division violated the Securities and Futures Ordinance (SFO) and the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing Ordinance (AMLO).
At the same time, the regulator confirmed that JPEX has never approached SFC about a license application, nor has it ever applied for a Hong Kong virtual asset trading platform license. And that no licensing has been obtained by JPEX's entities. So there was no communication between SFC and the company regarding the license.
The JPEX issue is not just a festering issue in Hong Kong. On September 13, Taiwan's JPEX's Asia Blockchain Building in Taipei's East District was empty after the SEC issued a warning to JPEX. The building's owner reportedly issued a notice stating that JPEX had moved away from the building "in bad faith."
Singer Nine Chen, JPEX brand ambassador in Taiwan, released an Instagram snapshot on the evening of the 15th, saying: "After learning about the JPEX incident, I would like to help to understand the situation, but I did not manage to contact the staff in JPEX. And other details are being processed by the company, so if the relevant units need my help to investigate, we will fully cooperate."
In addition, JPEX was scheduled to participate in the "Token2049" seminar in Singapore, but its exhibition booth seems to have been abandoned after it was warned by the SFC.