Arrests over Hong Kong’s HK$1.56 million JPEX ‘fraud’ scandal rise to 28

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Hong Kong police have reportedly arrested a crypto influencer in connection with a high-profile “fraud” scandal linked to digital asset exchange platform JPEX, as the number of those impacted surpassed 2,530. A total of 28 people have been apprehended so far over the alleged fraud case concerning the unlicensed crypto exchange platform, police said on Sunday, with reports received from 2,538 people claiming to be victims in the case involving losses of HK$1.56 million. According to local media reports citing sources, the latest arrest was 28-year-old influencer Henry Choi, who founded “Hong Coin,” a social media page promoting cryptocurrency with around 20,700 followers on Instagram. Police said on Sunday that one person had been detained pending investigation, while the remaining 27 had been released on bail without charge. Choi on Monday cut ties with JPEX and said he would “fully assist” in pushing JPEX to allow for immediate withdrawals of USDT, a cryptocurrency pegged to the US dollar. “Today, I fully cooperated with a police investigation within Hong Kong’s jurisdiction. I would like to clarify once again that I did not receive any funds nor have I been involved in the JPEX incident. I have no knowledge of the matter,” Choi said in a Chinese-language post, adding he had been travelling amid rumours he had fled the city. Those arrested were suspected of using false advertising and unlawful means to lure victims to invest through JPEX. The unlicensed platform then imposed restrictions on withdrawal limits and significantly raised withdrawal handling fees, leaving customers unable to withdraw their virtual assets, police alleged. The authorities first took action against JPEX in mid-September, when police rounded up four men and four women on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud. Among the arrestees aged 22 to 53 were social media influencers Joseph Lam and Chan Yee. Conspiracy to defraud is punishable by up to 14 years of imprisonment in Hong Kong. The case surrounding JPEX has cast a shadow over Hong Kong’s embrace of digital assets and revealed regulatory gaps soon after the city rolled out rules requiring crypto exchanges are licensed and meet investor protection standards. Support HKFP | Policies & Ethics | Error/typo? | Contact Us | Newsletter | Transparency & Annual Report | Apps Help safeguard press freedom & keep HKFP free for all readers by supporting our team

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