Hong Kong police have released two men on bail after the pair were handed over by Macanese authorities for suspected involvement in the JPEX crypto scandal. The high-profile alleged fraud case has seen the number of reported victims rise to 2,467, while losses totalled more than HK$1.5 billion.

Mobile application of the unlicensed cryptocurrency exchange platform JPEX, on September 19, 2023. Photo: Kyle Lam/HKFP.

Police said on Sunday that two men aged 29 were released on bail without charge after they were detained and subsequently deported by Macau authorities on Saturday. The pair must report back to the police in late October.

They were arrested by Hong Kong police on Saturday at the Hong Kong–Macau Ferry Terminal, after Macau authorities detained them last Thursday and returned them to Hong Kong on Saturday.

As of Saturday, a total of 18 people had been arrested in Hong Kong over the alleged fraud case. Police said on Sunday that they received reports from a total of 2,467 individuals who said they were victims in the case involving HK$1.522 billion of losses.

No one has been formally charged in the case so far.

Joseph Lam JPEX
Influencer and insurance agent Joseph Lam holding a press conference in respondense to the JPEX crypto ‘fraud’ on September 22, 2023. Photo: Kyle Lam/HKFP.

Police first detained four men and four women – aged between 22 and 52 – on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud around two weeks ago. Among those who were released on bail without charge were social media influencers Joseph Lam and Chan Yee.

The arrestees were said to have used false advertising and unlawful means to lure victims to open accounts and make investments on JPEX. The crypto platform then imposed restrictions on withdrawal limits and raised the handling fee for withdrawal significantly, leaving customers unable to withdraw their virtual assets, police alleged.

Conspiracy to defraud warrants up to 14 years of imprisonment in Hong Kong.

Support HKFP  |  Policies & Ethics  |  Error/typo?  |  Contact Us  |  Newsletter  | Transparency & Annual Report | Apps


Help safeguard press freedom & keep HKFP free for all readers by supporting our team

contribute to hkfp methods
tote bag support
YouTube video

Support press freedom & help us surpass 1,000 monthly Patrons: 100% independent, governed by an ethics code & not-for-profit.

Ho Long Sze Kelly is a Hong Kong-based journalist covering politics, criminal justice, human rights, social welfare and education. As a Senior Reporter at Hong Kong Free Press, she has covered the aftermath of the 2019 extradition bill protests and the Covid-19 pandemic extensively, as well as documented the transformation of her home city under the Beijing-imposed national security law.

Kelly has a bachelor's degree in Journalism from the University of Hong Kong, with a second major in Politics and Public Administration. Prior to joining HKFP in 2020, she was on the frontlines covering the 2019 citywide unrest for South China Morning Post’s Young Post. She also covered sports and youth-related issues.