The co-founders and chief executives of the collapsed Hong Kong exchange JPEX are believed to have gone on the run, with police so far detaining only 11 suspects. This was reported by the South China Morning Post.
Among those taken into custody: former lawyer and crypto-influencer Joseph Lam Chok, as well as YouTube bloggers Chan Wing-yee and Chu Ka-fai.
Lam Chok held a press conference where he tried to distance himself from JPEX. He stated that he has not been involved in the company’s commercial activities for a long time and does not rent an office from it.
As of September 23, the police had already received 2,265 complaints from victims, and the total damage exceeded $178 million.
Authorities also arrested the crypto exchange’s technical support corporate secretary, Tsang Cho-shun. Shortly before the collapse, the organization was renamed from JPEX Technical Support Company to Web 3.0 Technical Support.
Law enforcement officers detained two more employees of the technical department – Jason Chan Hiu-ho and Tan Lap-shun.
Investigators questioned actor and singer Julian Chung Chilam, actress Jacqueline Chng Se Ming and TV presenter Clement Chan Ting-bong. All three were JPEX ambassadors.
According to the publication’s sources, the general director of JPEX is a certain Kwok Kholun, but he may be a figurehead. The police put him on the wanted list.
Hong Kong authorities likely turned to Interpol for help after identifying suspicious transfers from the exchange, insiders added.
In addition, the Australian subsidiary of JPEX submitted an application to the local regulator for the voluntary suspension of the crypto service provider’s license.
On September 25, amid the stock exchange situation, Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) vowed to step up efforts to crack down on unlicensed trading platforms in the jurisdiction.
The agency will release a list of all legal and verified companies, as well as compile a list of “suspicious” organizations.
The SFC’s director of enforcement, Christopher Wilson, explained that JPEX’s “evasive” behavior and poor responses to data requests led to the exchange coming to attention as early as 2022.
According to the Commission, the collapse of the platform “highlights the risks associated with unregulated companies and the need for adequate oversight to maintain market confidence.”
Previously, Hong Kong authorities restricted local access to the JPEX website and application. In response, its representatives said that the government was “unreasonably” blocking activity and urged customers to use VPN services.
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