Hong Kong social media star arrested for promoting controversial JPEX crypto platform
Hong Kong police said it received more than 80 complaints about the embattled crypto platform.
Hong Kong police officers have arrested crypto influencer Joseph Lam Chok for promoting the JPEX crypto platform, South China Morning Post reported on Sept. 18.
Per the report, the police questioned the social media celebrity, and his company at the Entertainment building in Central was raided.
JPEX is a crypto platform believed by many to have been rug-pulled. The Hong Kong police claimed it received more than 80 complaints about the exchange, with customers saying they lost about $34 million.
The police had earlier said that the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) referred the case to it, leading the agency to set up a hotline for the public to report incidents.
The CSRC said that JPEX promoted its services using several entities, none registered with the regulatory authorities in China or Hong Kong.
The arrest comes after JPEX announced that it will pause its Earn Trading transactions on Sept. 18. The Japanese exchange said that the halt will mean users cannot place new earn orders, but the existing ones will continue to generate rewards until their end date.
JPEX has been suspending some of its services as it faces concerns about whether it has licenses for regulated operations. The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission recently questioned its yield offering on USDT. In response, the exchange raised USDT withdrawal fees to keep most funds.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong authorities have been cracking down on crypto scams and unregistered exchanges, especially after its new crypto regulatory regime became effective in June 2023.