72 individuals arrested in Hong Kong JPEX cryptocurrency scandal, with HK$228 million in assets frozen to date

**Hong Kong Police Make 72 Arrests in Cryptocurrency Scandal Investigation**

Police Commissioner Raymond Siu Chak-yee provided an update to the legislature on Thursday regarding the progress of the investigation into the cryptocurrency scandal. The number of arrests related to the case has now reached 72, with approximately HK$228 million frozen as part of the ongoing probe.

**Social Media Influencers Among Those Arrested**

Among those arrested in connection with the scandal were social media influencers who had promoted the trading platform and set up their own over-the-counter shops. Influencers such as Chan Wing-yee, Joseph Lam Chok, and Sheena Leung were among those taken into custody.

**Investment Scams Totaling Billions**

In response to lawmaker Johnny Ng Kit-chong, Siu revealed that the force had received 2,636 reports related to the case, with an estimated total amount of HK$1.6 billion involved. Additionally, last year saw 6,330 investment scams reported, resulting in losses of over HK$5.93 billion, with a significant portion related to cryptocurrency scams.

**Proposed Amendments to Fire Safety Ordinance**

The meeting also addressed proposed amendments to the Fire Safety (Buildings) Ordinance in light of the recent fatal blaze at New Lucky House in Yau Ma Tei. Authorities are seeking to increase penalties for non-compliance with fire safety orders, with fines potentially reaching up to HK$200,000.

**Legislative Process to be Expedited**

Security minister Chris Tang Ping-keung announced that the government would expedite the legislative process by introducing the amendments in the second quarter of this year, following public scrutiny in the wake of the tragic fire incident.

**Focus on High-Risk Sites**

The deadly blaze at New Lucky House prompted a shift in focus towards high-risk sites that have failed to comply with fire safety regulations. Tang emphasized the collective responsibility in ensuring fire safety compliance and noted the challenges of imposing individual penalties in such cases.

**Ensuring Resident Safety**

Tang clarified that buildings not in compliance with fire safety regulations did not necessarily mean they were unsafe for residents, but rather that they had not met current standards. The government’s priority remains on ensuring the safety and well-being of all residents in the city.

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