The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) issues this statement in light of the overall public interest in relation to suspicious practices and activities of JPEX and certain false and misleading claims made by JPEX of its communication with the SFC.
We also deeply regret that JPEX has publicised confidential correspondence between the SFC's Enforcement Division and JPEX, in breach of the secrecy/confidentiality provisions of the Securities and Futures Ordinance (SFO) and the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing Ordinance (AMLO) (Note 1).
JPEX purports to be a virtual asset trading platform and is unregulated, and has been on the SFC's radar since March 2022 when the SFC began making enquiries into its suspected false and misleading representations and unlicensed activities. As JPEX has been uncooperative and unable to substantively respond to the SFC's requisitions, the SFC subsequently placed JPEX on the SFC's Alert List in July 2022 (Note 2).
The confidential correspondence disclosed by JPEX on its website formed part of the SFC's aforesaid enquiries and investigations into JPEX.
The SFC affirms that JPEX has never approached the SFC in respect of any potential licence application, and that no entity in the JPEX group is licensed by the SFC or has applied to the SFC for a licence to operate a virtual asset trading platform in Hong Kong. As such, there has been no communication between the SFC and JPEX on licensing-related matters.
Subsequent information obtained has led to suspicion of fraud and the SFC has referred the matter to the Police. As investigations are ongoing, the SFC cannot make any further comment.
- In so doing, JPEX is in violation of provisions of section 378 of the SFO and section 76B of the AMLO which impose an obligation on a person assisting the SFC in a statutory enquiry or investigation to preserve secrecy/confidentiality for any matter coming to its knowledge.
- Since then, the SFC and the Investor and Financial Education Council together have on at least nine occasions issued investor alerts on their respective websites, social media platforms and via TV/radio channels, against dealing with unlicensed platforms and related malpractices, until the public statement naming JPEX again on 13 September 2023.
Last update: 20 Sep 2023