FAYE rooftop bar co-founder Ray Ng denies involvement in cryptocurrency trademark controversy and JPEX case

856
Heny Choi (left) and Ray Ng (right).

Ray Ng Shing-chun, a prominent figure in the nightlife and entertainment industry, has responded to recent reports regarding his alleged connection to the “Hong Coin” trademark and the ongoing JPEX case. In a statement released yesterday, Ng categorically denied any involvement with the mentioned companies or individuals and asserted that he has taken legal action to prohibit the unauthorised use of the trademark.

The JPEX case, which has been making headlines in Hong Kong, involves a suspected fraud syndicate operating in the cryptocurrency market. As investigations continue, authorities have received over 2,400 reports and requests for assistance, with 15 individuals already arrested in connection with the case. The reported amount involved in the case is approximately 1.49 billion Hong Kong dollars.

One of the newly arrested individuals is a 29-year-old female internet celebrity surnamed Leung, who worked as a staff member at Unicoin, an off-site cryptocurrency exchange shop. Leung, who gained prominence as a resident analyst at Unicoin, frequently shared investment insights on her personal YouTube channel and was known as the “goddess of the cryptocurrency world” among internet users.

The recent investigations by local media outlet HK01 have shed light on the opaque network of cryptocurrency over-the-counter (OTC) shops connected to the JPEX platform. At least four OTC sites linked to JPEX have been blocked locally, requiring the use of VPNs to access them. The ownership structures behind some of these shops have been found to be convoluted, with publicised founders absent from company records and real directors and shareholders shrouded.

In the midst of these revelations, it was discovered that the “Hong Coin” trademark, associated with the JPEX case, is held by model agency owner Ray Ng Shing-chun. Ng, who is known for managing nightclubs in Hong Kong’s Lan Kwai Fong area, also holds two other Hong Koin trademarks. The trademark records from the Intellectual Property Department indicate that Hong Coin’s services mention cryptocurrency trading software.

In his statement issued today, Ray Ng expressed complete ignorance of the companies mentioned in the reports, including “Hong Coin Crypto Limited,” “Tung Chill Limited,” and “Don’t See Limited,” as well as the individuals i.e. Henry Choi Hiu-tung, Wong Yuen-ting, Cheng Ching-Wai associated with them. He clarified that he has never authorised or agreed to the use or display of the Hong Coin trademark by Hong Coin Crypto Limited and has taken legal action to address the infringement and recover any losses.

Statement issued by Ray Ng Shing-chun on 28th September 2023.

The registration of trademarks in Hong Kong is a complex process, and it remains unclear how Ng’s name became associated with the trademark. The Intellectual Property Department’s website provides information on the application process for trademarks, emphasising the diligence required in verifying the accuracy of registration details.

Ray Ng, the owner of Model Genesis, a model agency, surprisingly holds the trademark for Hong Coin. The address listed for both the trademark and Model Genesis is 14/F, Bupa Centre, 141 Connaught Road West, Sheung Wan. Since 2002, Ng has been involved in managing nightclubs in Lan Kwai Fong, the primary nightlife district in Hong Kong for a long time. In 2021, Ng made the decision to close his second club, Volar which business was severely impacted by COVID-19, and relocated it to a larger rooftop space in California Tower, Lan Kwai Fong, for his co-founded establishment, FAYE rooftop bar.

Additionally, Ray Ng has a professional background with BCI Group Holdings Ltd. As the former Executive Director, he was involved in managing various outlets under BCI, including the now-defunct VOLAR nightclub, TIGER GROUP restaurants, and MUDITA. Currently, only PAPER STREET and fitness studio “MAXIMUS STUDIO” remain in operation. Ng is a director of certain BCI subsidiaries and is the brother of Mr. Kester Ng Shing-joe, who serves as the chairman, executive director, and controlling shareholder of the company. Ray Ng obtained a bachelor of laws degree and a diploma in legal practice from the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom in June 1993 and October 1995, respectively. He was admitted as a solicitor in Hong Kong in December 1997. With over 10 years of experience in the food and beverage and entertainment industries, Ng has been actively involved in operating and managing such businesses since June 2008.

Authorities have expressed their commitment to thoroughly investigate the JPEX case and hold the perpetrators accountable. They have also stated that if any individuals involved are located outside of Hong Kong, existing mechanisms will be utilised to seek international cooperation in the investigation.