Hong Kong police have arrested another crypto influencer in connection with the investigation into now-shuttered crypto exchange JPEX. The move brings the total number of people taken into custody to 28—although the masterminds behind the JPEX scandal are still at large.
Another crypto influencer arrested in JPEX Crypto fraud investigation
The latest detainee is 28-year-old Henry Choi—a crypto influencer and founder of social media page “Hong Coin” that promotes cryptocurrency and boasts over 20,000 followers on Instagram. Like others arrested in the case, Choi appeared to distance himself from JPEX.
“Today, I fully cooperated with a police investigation within Hong Kong’s jurisdiction. I would like to clarify once again that I did not receive any funds nor have I been involved in the JPEX incident. I have no knowledge of the matter,” Choi clarified in an Instagram post.
The alleged crypto fraud at JPEX first came to light in September when Hong Kong police revealed they’d received thousands of complaints related to the crypto exchange. Victims alleged that their crypto holdings were stuck with JPEX, with many voicing concerns that the exchange was charging exorbitant withdrawal fees.
According to Hong Kong police, the ring leaders of the operation used false advertising and unlawful means to lure gullible investors, defrauding them out of a whopping $200 million. With masterminds behind the JPEX scandal still on the run, the local police have enlisted the help of international enforcement agencies—including the Interpol.
The warning signs were there
Last month, JPEX abruptly announced it was winding down operations due to “unfair treatment” by Hong Kong authorities. The exchange had claimed that the “malicious” freezing of funds by its partners had triggered a liquidity crisis.
However, Hong Kong’s financial watchdog, the Securities and Futures Commission, has accused the operators of JPEX crypto exchange of operating an unlicensed crypto platform and misleading investors. Earlier this month, some JPEX users complained that their crypto assets had been changed into JPEX’s JPC token without their consent.
While Hong Kong had rolled out a welcome mat for crypto firms earlier this year, the JPEX scandal has cast a shadow on its efforts to become a leader in the digital assets market. The JPEX incident has also prompted Hong Kong’s financial regulator to disclose the names of all crypto companies seeking a license to operate in the city.