Hong Kong Crypto Influencer Arrested for Ties with JPEX
- Crypto activities have surged in Hong Kong in recent weeks and months, but regulators have grown concerned about the activities of unregistered crypto companies.
- Regulators in Hong Kong recently warned users about using the services of crypto platforms claiming to be banks.
- Police claim that over 80 people filed complaints about JPEX.
News of the arrest of a prominent cryptocurrency influencer sent shockwaves within the Hong Kong crypto community on Monday, September 18. Hong Kong-based social media influencer Joseph Lam was arrested over his alleged association with the troubled crypto exchange, JPEX.
Lam, who is also known by the Instagram moniker “jolamchok,” is rumored to have created a group where he urged people to use the platform. According to reports, law enforcement agents searched Lam’s office and found evidence boxes, including banknotes in plastic.
Furthermore, witnesses claim that certain items, including Lam’s laptop and money, had been confiscated as evidence. The crypto influencer, who boasts an Instagram followership of over 150,000, was detained shortly after the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission released a statement holding JPEX accountable for actively promoting its services and products to the Hong Kong public using top influencers.
Hong Kong regulators have been working to fish out violators within the crypto industry. Furthermore, the SFC recently called out JPEX for operating without a license and advertising itself as a licensed firm.
Interestingly, police claim that more than 80 JPEX users filed complaints against the exchange. Some claimed they had been prevented from withdrawing funds from the platform.
Reacting to these claims, JPEX said regulators and third-party market makers were responsible for its liquidity problem and decision to raise withdrawal fees and cease some operations. The platform, in a statement, promised to “recover liquidity from third-party market makers as soon as possible and gradually adjust the withdrawal fees back to normal levels.”
Several angry users blamed Lam for his role in promoting the exchange. Reports claim that Lam had gone to the police prior to his arrest to explain his relationship with JPEX and offer support for efforts to recover funds from the exchange.
Although details are still sketchy, sources claim that the influencer denied having deep ties with JPEX or serving as a partner tasked with promoting the company to his followers.
The situation with JPEX has added to the growing list of concerns for the broader crypto community.