April 19, 2024
Latest Cryptocurrency News

Crypto Crimes Tripled Over 3 years in Hong Kong

The Financial Services and Treasury Minister Hui Ching-yu revealed concerning statistics on virtual asset crimes in a recent local media report. According to Ching-yu, the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) witnessed a significant surge in such cases over the past three years.

From 2021 to 2023, the reported numbers are as follows: 1,397, 2,336, and 3,415 cases, amounting to 824 million, 1.704 billion, and 4.398 billion yuan, respectively. These alarming figures underscore the growing challenges in curbing illicit activities involving virtual assets.

The response from law enforcement remains under scrutiny, with the police consolidating data on arrested and prosecuted individuals based on specific cases. Notably, in the high-profile JPEX case, where the cryptocurrency exchange suspended operations due to a liquidity crisis, only 70 people have been arrested, and no charges have been filed thus far.

As of February 2, 2024, the SFC and the police have actively shared intelligence on more than 100 platforms engaged in virtual asset trading or related activities. The decision to initiate a special investigation into specific trading platforms hinges on several factors, including connections to Hong Kong, potential violations of laws, the scale of involvement, and financial implications.

Last year, the JPEX cryptocurrency exchange scam dominated headlines in Hong Kong, prompting a significant investigation by the SFC. Thousands of complaints were filed by affected customers, reporting total losses exceeding $152 million. To date, eight suspects linked to the alleged fraud have been detained, with law enforcement seizing $1.9 million from blocked accounts and property valued at $5.6 million. The incident serves as a stark reminder of the challenges authorities face in combating virtual asset crimes.

Image by vectorjuice on Freepik

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