Hong Kong and Macau police have cracked down on the notorious JPEX crypto exchange fraud case, making substantial arrests and uncovering a web of illicit activities.
Arrests and Dramatic Scenes
On September 29, reports from Radio Television Hong Kong disclosed the apprehension of two key figures in the JPEX case. These individuals were allegedly involved in the creation of casino accounts in Macau, serving as conduits for the laundering of illegal funds.
Simultaneously, police actions led to the freezing of casino assets and the seizure of over 14 million Hong Kong dollars (HKD). This is equivalent to approximately $1.7 million.
In a gripping turn of events, two additional arrests were reported by the South China Morning Post. One suspect, in a desperate attempt to destroy potential evidence, was caught in the act using paper shredders and bleach in the confines of an apartment bathtub. This brings the total number of detained suspects to 18.
During this operation, authorities seized cash and gold amounting to 8.7 million HKD from three different apartments. This translated to around $1.1 million.
Escalation of the Scandal, Ongoing Pursuit and International Collaboration
The roots of the scandal trace back to the financial watchdog in Hong Kong issuing a warning against JPEX for operating without the necessary licenses. Responding to the warning, the exchange hiked its withdrawal fees to an exorbitant $1,000. Also, its staff abandoned their booths at the Token 2049 event in Singapore.
Despite the series of arrests, the masterminds behind the JPEX fraud scandal remain elusive. In a bid to apprehend the culprits, Hong Kong police have sought the assistance of Interpol. Crypto influencers and JPEX employees are among those already arrested. This has further contributed to the unfolding narrative of one of Hong Kong’s largest fraud cases.
The Magnitude of the Scandal
The JPEX scandal has become a focal point of concern in Hong Kong. With over 2300 complaints from victims and staggering losses amounting to approximately $178 million. Secretary for Security, Chris Tang Ping-keung, has pledged a relentless pursuit of justice for the victims. He further vowed to hold those responsible accountable.