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HK influencer Joseph Lam reportedly arrested amid probe into trading platform JPEX

HK influencer Joseph Lam reportedly arrested amid probe into trading platform JPEX

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Hong Kong influencer Joseph Lam has been reportedly arrested after the authorities initiated probe into a suspected fraud related to cryptocurrency exchange JPEX, which was revealed to be an unlicensed trading platform.

According to local reports such as RTHK, the commercial crime bureau has arrested at least one person related to the incident, including Lam. The police will search his office in Central later today.Recently, Lam, who previously claimed himself as the partner of the platform, has publicly cut ties with JPEX, stating that he is also one of the victims.

Apart from Lam, the agent of Hong Kong actor Julian Cheung, who was featured as JPEX’s brand ambassador since last August, told local media that no agreements were made by it to run the campaign before JPEX obtained a licence.

Meanwhile, JPEX said it will halt trades from 18 September 2023 due to the unfair treatment by relevant institutions in Hong Kong and a series of negative news. This had led its partnered third-party market makers to freeze funds.

“They demanded more information from the platform for negotiation, restricting our liquidity and significantly increasing our daily operating costs, leading to operational difficulties,” the statement reads.JPEX said it is currently negotiating with these third-party market makers to resolve the liquidity shortage as soon as possible. 

MARKETING-INTERACTIVE has reached out to the police and Lam for a statement.

This comes after the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) revealed that no entity in the JPEX group is licensed by the SFC or has applied to the SFC for a licence to operate a VATP in Hong Kong. 

The watchdog also requested KOLs and OTC Shops to stop making false or misleading statements that the company is licensed, and cease promoting JPEX and its services on social media.

On Saturday, commissioner of police Raymond Siu Chak Yee said the police had received 83 complaints as of Friday, involving virtual assets worth about HK$34 million. He said that the commercial crime bureau has initiated investigation into the case and urged people who have queries related to the case to contact the police at a designated hotline. 

Don't miss: HK securities watchdog launches public consultation over plans to allow licensed platform operators to serve retail investors

Back in February, the SFC launched public consultation over plans to allow retail investors in Hong Kong to purchase big-cap cryptocurrency tokens such as bitcoin and Ether.

According to its official statement, the proposed regulatory requirements for virtual asset trading platforms are based on the regulatory requirements of the existing regime under the SFC and are comparable to those for licensed securities brokers and automated trading venues. The SFC has also taken the opportunity to propose modifications to some requirements of the existing regime. 

Related articles:

OSL and HashKey approved to operate HK's first licensed crypto exchanges for retail investors
HK's finance chief reiterates 'appropriate regulations' needed for cryptocurrency and DeFi

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