20th September 2023 – (Hong Kong) Hong Kong police held a press conference on Tuesday to provide updates on the ongoing investigation into JPEX, a cryptocurrency platform accused of fraudulent activities. According to the authorities, eight individuals have been arrested so far, and the case involves an amount of HK$1.2 billion.
Interestingly, two of the arrested individuals were found to be working for JPEX’s Australian subsidiary. On the same day, this subsidiary applied for voluntary deregistration with the local financial regulatory agency, stating in the application that the company’s total assets amounted to less than HK$5,072 and that no outstanding debts or legal disputes were involved.
JPEX’s official website claims that the company, registered as “JP-EX Crypto Asset Platform Pty Ltd,” is based in Australia. However, local media discovered that the company had filed for voluntary deregistration with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission on Tuesday, 19th September.
The application for deregistration was submitted by a corporate secretary, and the signatory was identified as Jiayi Chen, who is listed as a director and secretary of the company. In the application, the company declared that its total assets were less than AUD 1,000 (approximately HK$5,072) and that it had no outstanding debts or legal disputes. The company also stated that it is currently not operating, and all members agreed to the deregistration.
However, on the same day that JPEX applied for deregistration, the company published a statement on its website refuting the allegations made by the regulatory authority and the police. It expressed extreme disappointment with what it referred to as the “unfair methods employed by the regulatory authority to disrupt market order” and declared its unwavering determination to continue its operations.
According to records from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, “JP-EX Crypto Asset Platform Pty Ltd” was established in September 2020. Jiayi Chen, the director and secretary, was born in Guangdong, China, in 1991, while the former director and secretary, Sze Ki Cheung, was born in Hong Kong in 1995.
Both the registered address of the company and the residential address of Jiayi Chen are located in a newly built residential area in the northern suburbs of Sydney, rather than an office building. No further information about Jiayi Chen and Sze Ki Cheung could be found in public records in Hong Kong or major countries.
The two employees of “JP-EX Crypto Asset Platform Pty Ltd” in Australia, 26-year-old Lee and 52-year-old Chung, were recently arrested by the Hong Kong police in connection with the JPEX fraud case.
It is worth noting that another registered company, “JPEX Technical Support Co. Pty Ltd,” based in Australia, voluntarily deregistered in 2022 and has also been mentioned by the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission.
JPEX has registered companies in multiple countries, including the United States, Canada, Australia, and Lithuania. The directors of these companies are different individuals, raising suspicions of nominee registrations. Since its registration in 2020 and the commencement of operations in 2021, the actual responsible individuals and the location of JPEX’s offices have remained a mystery.