Hong Kong influencer arrested over JPEX links amid probe: reports

Quick Take

  • Hong Kong police today arrested Joseph Lam, a crypto influencer and a former lawyer, for his alleged association with crypto exchange JPEX, local media reported.

Hong Kong’s investigation into cryptocurrency exchange JPEX resulted in the arrest of Joseph Lam, a crypto influencer and former lawyer, multiple local media reported.

Hong Kong police today arrested Lam for his association with JPEX and raided his office in the city at around 11 a.m. local time, local newspaper South China Morning Post reported, citing a source familiar with the matter. 

The police also seized boxes of evidence, including some banknotes, according to the report. A spokesperson of the Hong Kong police declined to comment when contacted by The Block. Lam did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Lam said on Saturday on Instagram, where he has over 190,000 followers, that he went to the police force on Friday to offer relevant information about JPEX and urged affected users to call a hotline the police had set up to report losses.

JPEX’s trouble

The police’s probe into JPEX came after the Securities and Futures Commission warned last week that crypto influencers and the trading platform have “made false or misleading statements on social media” to suggest that JPEX has applied for a virtual asset trading license in Hong Kong.

JPEX said on Sunday that it has suspended some operations and raised withdrawal fees following an ongoing liquidity crisis. The company said its third-party market makers have “maliciously frozen funds.”

Hong Kong police said that as of Friday, it had received at least 83 complaints involving JPEX and virtual assets worth about HK$34 million ($4.3 million), according to an SCMP report on Saturday.

© 2023 The Block. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.