The Hong Kong Police have initiated an inquiry into Hounax, a cryptocurrency buying and selling platform, following quite a few complaints totaling $15.4 million in reported scams, the South China Morning Publish reported on Nov. 27.
Victims claimed they have been enticed to spend money on crypto on the platform however confronted difficulties withdrawing funds. Some victims have blamed the authorities for his or her losses.
One sufferer, Ng, who misplaced round HK$150,000 to the rip-off, defined how the scammers constructed customers’ belief by offering monetary recommendation on shares via Meta-owned social media platforms Fb and WhatsApp.
Ng claimed to have performed thorough due diligence on the platform and located it listed in a Canadian enterprise registry. Moreover, a search on the Hong Kong police CyberDefender web site, identified for flagging on-line scams, yielded no outcomes for the platform.
Thus, the Hong Kong authorities’ Nov. 1 warning in regards to the platform got here somewhat too late as individuals already had their cash invested within the platform.
The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Fee (SFC) flagged Hounax as a suspicious entity, itemizing it on its “alert listing” earlier within the month. On the time, SFC said that the change falsely claimed enterprise connections with a monetary establishment and a enterprise capital agency.
Lawmakers slam SFC
Hong Kong lawmakers Johnny Ng Equipment-chong and Doreen Kong Yuk-foon criticized the SFC’s effort to warn the general public.
In keeping with the lawmakers, the monetary watchdog ought to take a extra proactive strategy to figuring out such dangers. They added that the fraudsters additionally look like capitalizing on the loopholes within the current rules inside the trade as they “weren’t banned and existed in a authorized gray zone.”
In the meantime, this investigation follows an earlier inquiry into the JPEX scandal that emerged in September. CryptoSlate reported that the police acquired greater than 2500 complaints, and round $193 million was allegedly misplaced to those scammers.
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