Hong Kong police, SFC form task force to track suspicious crypto activities amid JPEX probes

Quick Take

  • The new task force will assess risks and facilitate information sharing, the authorities said.

Hong Kong police and the city's financial watchdog have formed a working group to supervise crypto trading platforms after they cracked down on crypto exchange JPEX.

The Securities and Futures Commission said in a statement on Wednesday that the working group was set up following a high-level meeting on Sept. 28 and comprises officers from the police’s Commercial Crime Bureau, Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau and Financial Intelligence and Investigations Bureau, as well as the SFC’s Enforcement Division and Intermediaries Division.

The working group aims to enhance coordination, facilitate information sharing on suspicious activities related to virtual asset trading platforms and put in place the means to assess risks, according to the statement.

Eve Chung, an assistant commissioner of police, said in the statement that the new working group is “instrumental to fast-tracking of vital intelligence exchange and joint collaboration in responses to the challenges arising from VATPs, so as to better protect the general public of Hong Kong.”


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Heightened scrutiny

The establishment of the new task force comes after the authorities cracked down on JPEX last month and arrested at least 20 people related to the case in a police force action dubbed “tieguan” or “iron gate,” according to local media reports. The authorities have also asked local telecoms providers to block online access to JPEX.

The SFC warned on Sept. 13 that crypto influencers and the trading platform JPEX had “made false or misleading statements on social media” by suggesting the firm had applied for a virtual asset trading license in Hong Kong. That prompted the SFC to disclose crypto license applicants and publish a list of suspicious crypto platform operators in the wake of JPEX probes.

© 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.

About Author

Timmy Shen is an Asia reporter for The Block. Previously, he wrote about crypto and Web3 for Forkast.News from Taiwan after spending more than three years in Beijing covering finance and current affairs at Caixin Global and Chinese tech at TechNode. His China-related reporting has also appeared in The Guardian. When he's not chasing headlines, you'll find him savoring hot pot and shabu shabu in a Taipei local haunt. Timmy holds an MS degree from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Send tips to [email protected] or get in touch on X/Telegram @timmyhmshen.


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