27th September 2023 – (Hong Kong) Hong Kong has experienced a significant surge in overall crime rates during the first eight months of this year. Law enforcement agencies revealed today that the number of recorded criminal cases reached 58,453, marking a substantial increase of 34.6% compared to the same period last year, which saw 43,421 cases reported. Among these cases, 6,495 were related to violent offences, showing a year-on-year rise of 14%. Authorities attribute the surge in crime to the persistent high levels of fraud cases and the lingering impact of the severe COVID-19 situation experienced during the same period last year, which resulted in fewer social activities due to the implementation of social distancing measures. As society gradually returns to normalcy, overall crime rates have seen an upward trend.
One particular case that has captured widespread attention in Hong Kong is the JPEX suspected fraud case. Law enforcement agencies have reported that they have currently arrested 12 individuals in connection with the case, involving an estimated amount of nearly HK$1.5 billion. Authorities have received over 2,392 reports and requests for assistance related to the case and have been in contact with more than 300 individuals affected. In addition, authorities have conducted searches across 16 over-the-counter (OTC) cryptocurrency exchange shops, seizing HK$8 million in cash and freezing assets worth over HK$77 million, including properties and cryptocurrencies. Authorities have affirmed their commitment to conducting a thorough investigation into the case and have highlighted that if the involvement of individuals residing outside of Hong Kong is suspected, the necessary mechanisms will be employed to seek international cooperation in the investigation. The authorities are determined to hold those responsible accountable through all available means.