There appears to be no end to the JPEX saga.
In the latest development, Hong Kong and Macau authorities have made fresh arrests of 18 suspects in the JPEX crypto exchange case. A total of $2.8 million has been seized in both cash and gold.
Untangling JPEX Mess
A report from local media revealed that charges against two individuals were filed in Hong Kong for utilizing Macau casinos as a means to launder illicit funds. This led to the seizure of casino assets as well as $1.7 million in cash.
Additionally, two more individuals were arrested, with one of them being caught attempting to destroy evidence. The documents were reportedly shredded and bleached in the bath.
The Hong Kong Police Force disclosed its efforts to locate additional suspects linked to fraud and money laundering charges.
It all started when Hong Kong’s financial regulator warned JPEX for allegedly promoting its services in the city-state without proper licenses. Following the warning, the exchange substantially increased its withdrawal fees to nearly $1,000. In a twist, its employees deserted their booths at the recent Token 2049 event held in Singapore.
After winding down operations overnight due to a sudden liquidity crisis on the 17th of September, JPEX accused its partners in Hong Kong of acting unfairly and maliciously.
Several arrests were made by the police in the city-state for alleged money laundering shortly thereafter after reportedly receiving more than 2,300 complaints from victims and losses of nearly $178 million. This included two popular influencers as well. However, Hong Kong’s authorities have maintained that the ringleaders of the operation behind JPEX are still at large.
Subsequently, reports about JPEX being a potential rug pull also surfaced as social media channels and its official website remained inaccessible.
Another Unlicensed Crypto Exchange Under Scrutiny
The latest revelations coincided with a warning from the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) to investors about yet another unlicensed virtual asset trading platform called – FUBT Exchange. The watchdog claimed that the company provided a fake Hong Kong phone number in an attempt to give the impression of having a presence in the city.
As of September 22, FUBT Exchange was included in the SFC’s roster of suspicious virtual asset trading platforms, as indicated on their website. Furthermore, reports from mainland Chinese media revealed a platform bearing the same name had collapsed in May 2020.
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