Hong Kong Police arrested 8 more people on Thursday in the JPEX scandal, taking the total of arrested individuals in the alleged fraud to 36.
The police also revealed that a total of 2,595 people have reported losses in the JPEX crypto exchange. The total amount that has been defrauded in the alleged scam has ballooned up to 1.6 billion yuan, equivalent to $213 million. Initially, the defrauded amount was estimated to be near $154 million.
Last month, Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) revealed the Dubai-based JPEX had been operating without a legitimate license for crypto trading in the city state.
Investigation Continues in JPEX Scandal
The police said that all arrested individuals were released on bail pending investigation and will report to the police from late this month to late December. Some of the individuals investigated in the alleged fraud include famous influencers.
The police last month arrested and questioned Joseph Lam, a barrister turned insurance salesman who describes himself on Instagram as Hong Kong’s “Trolling King”. The police also arrested Chan Yee, a YouTube personality with 200,000 subscribers.
Hong Kong police revealed to local media that the investigation into the crypto exchange is still ongoing and more arrests cannot be ruled out.
Hong Kong’s Regulators to Tighten Crypto Regulations
As reported earlier, Hong Kong’s Commissioner of Customs and Excise, Louise Ho Pui-shan, called for increased oversight and regulatory measures in response to mounting money-laundering risks within the crypto sector in the wake of the JPEX scandal.
The fallout from the multi million dollar scam has prompted a review of governance options for businesses that facilitate the exchange of cash for cryptocurrencies, commonly referred to as cash-for-crypto shops.
Hong Kong’s central bank and securities regulator also introduced stricter cryptocurrency regulations in response to this scandal.
The revised guidelines stipulate that certain crypto offerings will now be limited to professional investors exclusively.
The Hong Kong Monetary Authority and the Securities and Futures Commission emphasized that the intricacies and risks associated with products related to virtual assets might be too complicated for retail investors.