Hong Kong police have apprehended Joseph Lam Chok, a well-known social media influencer and insurance manager, under suspicion of promoting an unlicensed cryptocurrency exchange named JPEX. Lam Chok faces allegations of actively encouraging investors to create accounts on JPEX and convert their funds into crypto.
This arrest follows a wave of complaints against JPEX, with approximately HK$34 million in reported losses submitted to authorities.
Lam Chok’s arrest has brought attention to the increasing concerns regarding JPEX’s operations. The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has expressed reservations about the platform, specifically noting its aggressive marketing tactics aimed at attracting the Hong Kong public.
JPEX has employed internet celebrities and “over-the-counter” exchange shops in its promotional efforts. However, the SFC has stressed that JPEX and its associated entities lack the necessary licenses to function as a virtual digital asset trading platform in Hong Kong.
Cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual form of currency that uses cryptography...
It’s worth noting that Lam Chok had claimed to be a partner of JPEX, even though he didn’t hold any shares in the company. His arrest was preceded by a search of his office premises, during which law enforcement seized several boxes containing potential evidence, including a significant amount of banknotes.
The investigation into JPEX’s activities was initiated following a referral from the China Securities Regulatory Commission, which raised suspicions of fraud related to the cryptocurrency exchange.
In response, the Hong Kong police established a hotline encouraging the public to report any suspicious activities connected to JPEX. So far, they have received over 83 reports from concerned citizens.
The concerns surrounding JPEX extend beyond its unlicensed operations. The exchange has purportedly claimed to possess licenses from foreign regulators and enticed investors with promises of substantial returns on savings products.