Four More Arrests Made in JPEX Crypto Exchange Probe, Total Detentions Now at 18


Japanese police have made four more arrests in their ongoing investigation into suspected illegal operations at a now-defunct crypto exchange. The latest arrests raise the total number of people detained in connection with the case to 18.

According to local news sources, the latest arrests were made by the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department earlier this week. The suspects, three men and a woman, are believed to have been involved in the management of the Tokyo-based crypto exchange, JPEX.

The exchange shut down last year amid reports that it was under investigation for suspected irregularities. Police allege that the exchange was operating as an unapproved business, a crime punishable by up to two years in prison or a fine of up to two million yen ($19,500).

JPEX had made itself part of a growing list of crypto exchange casualties in Japan’s bear market. It was launched in July 2017, just as the country’s crypto industry was taking off. However, the arrest of Mark Karpeles, the former CEO of defunct Mt. Gox exchange in the same year, coupled with the country’s implementation of tighter regulations, dealt a serious blow to the industry.

JPEX is believed to have been operating without registering with Japan’s financial regulator. Police are now looking into the activity of the 18 suspects in the case, including the four latest arrests, which are said to have been made on the suspicion that they are involved in the illegal operation of the exchange.

The suspects are also thought to have allowed investors to trade using unregistered accounts and earned money through commissions on those trades.

It is not clear how much money the suspects allegedly made through their activities. However, the police have reportedly seized 11 million yen ($107,000) in hard cash and confiscated documents pertaining to their activities.

At this point, it is uncertain what the latest arrests mean for the case or how many more suspects are associated with JPEX. The police are continuing to investigate the incident and it seems likely that more arrests will follow.

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