30th September 2023 – (Hong Kong) Hong Kong law enforcement authorities, after conducting an investigation, have collaborated with Macao officials in a joint operation to apprehend four individuals linked to the ongoing JPEX fraud case. Two key members of the organization were captured in Macao on Thursday (28th) and have since been transferred to the Macau Public Prosecutions Office. Today (30th), the two suspects were extradited and brought back to Hong Kong via the Hong Kong-Macao Ferry Terminal. They have been arrested by local law enforcement on charges of conspiracy to commit fraud and are now under investigation.
According to the details of the case, Macao law enforcement officers arrested two men, surnamed Lo and Ho, both 29 years old, in a hotel room in Macau’s Inner Harbor on Thursday (28th). They are suspected of committing crimes related to “criminal syndicates,” “money laundering,” and “computer fraud.” Lo claimed to be a network engineer, while Ho identified himself as a shop assistant. It is reported that they held positions as off-exchange trading facilitators. During the arrest, authorities discovered HK$6 million worth of casino chips, luxury watches, and approximately HK$70,000 in cash on Lo. Ho was found in possession of HK$500,000 worth of casino chips, and his casino account containing HK$3 million was frozen. However, both individuals have refused to cooperate and disclose the source of their funds. Additionally, law enforcement has identified another fugitive and frozen approximately HK$5.2 million in their gambling account.
In response to media inquiries, Macau law enforcement stated that the two Hong Kong suspects arrested in Macau were subjected to local judicial proceedings. They have been required to pay a bail amount of MOP 200,000 and other compulsory measures. Due to their alleged involvement in criminal activities in Macau, the Immigration Department has lawfully repatriated them to their place of origin and imposed entry bans on both individuals.
To date, a total of 2,422 victims have reported losses amounting to HK$1.504 billion, and assets worth over HK$96 million have been frozen. There have been a total of 18 arrests in the case, all of whom are Hong Kong residents. The investigation into the case is ongoing, and it is not ruled out that more individuals may be apprehended.
Meanwhile, the Securities and Futures Commission recently released their Alert List of potentially fraudulent virtual asset trading platforms, and among them is the cryptocurrency exchange JPEX. Another platform, FUBT Exchange, was also added to the list on 22nd September. The other four platforms on the list are futu-pro.com / futubit.com, EFSPD, arrano.network, and OSL Corporation. These additions were made to the list between November 2021 and June 2023.
The purpose of the alert list is to assist investors in identifying suspicious virtual asset trading platforms operating in Hong Kong more easily, and to raise awareness about them. In a statement, the commission emphasized that currently, only two platforms hold licenses: OSL Digital Securities Ltd (BPJ213) and Hash Blockchain Ltd (BPL992). However, four companies are currently in the process of applying for licenses, namely Hong Kong BGE Ltd, Hong Kong Digital Asset EX Ltd, Hong Kong Virtual Asset Exchange Ltd, and Victory Fintech Co Ltd.