Troubles for JPEX are escalating. The Hong Kong-based crypto platform is now under the spotlight for alleged money laundering, as revealed by Bitrace. Moreover, suspicions of a potential rug pull add to its woes.
Bitrace’s report recently unveiled that an address linked to JPEX moved more than 190 million TRC20-USDT tokens within 20 months. Consequently, this revelation has jolted investors. They are now wary about withdrawals and deposits, fearing potential risks.
Hong Kong has recently surged as a crypto haven, credited to its accommodating regulatory stance. This strategy aimed at luring more crypto enthusiasts to the region. However, the JPEX debacle poses a significant setback to this burgeoning ecosystem.
Additionally, the reaction from local authorities has been swift and stringent. Significantly, JPEX halted its operations this week. In a notable move, the Hong Kong police detained six individuals linked to JPEX. Among them is the lawyer-turned-crypto influencer Joseph Lam Chok. Authorities also seized a laptop and a substantial cash amount during this operation. Another influencer, Chan Wing-yee, faces detention, suspected of fraud conspiracy.
Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee emphasized, “Investors should opt for licensed platforms for virtual asset investments. The SFC remains vigilant to ensure investor protection.”
However, an SFC announcement last week shook the community. It declared JPEX’s unlicensed operations, lacking the authorization for crypto trading within Hong Kong. Disturbingly, some investors flagged issues withdrawing assets from JPEX, while others spotted balance discrepancies.
In its defense, JPEX announced a trading suspension on its platform on Monday. They cited ongoing talks with third-party market makers over liquidity challenges. JPEX had earlier hinted at facing “unfair treatment” in Hong Kong, pointing fingers at a third-party market maker for purposefully stalling funds.
By Tuesday, updates emerged that the police had frozen bank accounts worth around $1 million and confiscated properties totaling approximately $5.6 million. Additionally, they acknowledged 1,641 complaints linked to JPEX, amounting to a staggering $153 million.
In summary, this unfolding JPEX saga sends a strong message. As Hong Kong seeks to champion the crypto wave, it must fortify its regulatory infrastructure. Investors’ trust and regional credibility hang in the balance.