JPEX cryptocurrency exchange named in 83 complaints to Hong Kong police, with cases involving virtual assets worth HK$34 million

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Hong Kong police have received at least 83 complaints involving the JPEX cryptocurrency exchange and virtual assets worth about HK$34 million (US$4.3 million) after the city’s securities regulator called out the unregulated firm for dubious tactics. Commissioner of Police Raymond Siu Chak-yee on Saturday also said the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) had filed a police report two days ago, adding the case was under investigation by the force’s commercial crime bureau. He said the force had received 83 complaints as of 3pm on Friday and appealed for other victims to contact police’s dedicated 24-hour hotline at 28605012 or report their case online. On Wednesday, the commission issued a warning to potential investors that JPEX had not filed any licence applications, calling for the public to be wary of any opportunities that seemed “too good to be true”. The watchdog also said the trading platform had made false claims that it had obtained licences from overseas regulators, as well as offering high returns on savings products. JPEX also relied on misleading statements made by social media influencers “who are often paid promoters”, the commission added. The securities regulator has included two JPEX-affiliated companies on its alert list since July last year, indicating the platform was seeking Hong Kong investors without a proper licence. Crypto exchange JPEX is misleading investors, Hong Kong’s SFC says Some users of the exchange have also reported issues when withdrawing virtual assets from their online accounts in the days after the regulator issued the warning. One user posted a screenshot in a Telegram group for JPEX-related complaints that showed a request to withdraw 1,000 Tether tokens, or USDT, on Saturday afternoon had only yielded 25, with the rest withheld as a “processing fee”. One Tether token is worth about US$1. The group’s administrator asked to only be identified by his username, @CryptoTraderL, claiming past threats of harassment, and told the Post on Saturday the chat had received about 200 “serious” complaints involving more than US$10 million in virtual assets. “But I believe it’s only the tip of the iceberg because, according to blockchain transaction records, JPEX has more than 30,000 users involving more than US$300 million,” he said. Hong Kong’s crypto adoption ranking drops one spot in Chainalysis report The group administrator accused the platform of selling tokens to a growing number of users despite having a limited pool of USDT and said unfamiliar investors could be vulnerable to the buzz generated by social media influencers. The cryptocurrency exchange established a presence in Hong Kong more than two years ago and ran aggressive promotion campaigns that included adverts at MTR stations in Central, Mong Kok, Tsim Sha Tsui and Causeway Bay. JPEX also ran a promotion drive in Taiwan earlier this year, roping in entertainer Nine Chen as a spokesman and publicising its decision to lease an office building in downtown Taipei. Chen has since told local media that his contract with JPEX ended in late July. The identities and locations of JPEX’s owners remain unclear due to the company’s opaque corporate set-up.

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