SFC too passive over Hounax: lawmaker - RTHK
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SFC too passive over Hounax: lawmaker

2023-11-27 HKT 12:08
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  • SFC too passive over Hounax: lawmaker
Lawmaker Doreen Kong on Monday accused the city's securities regulator of playing a passive role over a virtual asset exchange platform which police claim has scammed people out of almost HK$120 million.

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) says it has no right to suspend the operations of Hounax, being as the platform is not regulated or licensed.

Earlier this month, the SFC flagged the platform as suspicious and included it on an alert list, alleging that Hounax was falsely claiming to be working with a financial institution and a venture capital firm.

On an RTHK programme, Kong said the regulator is not doing enough and suggested it step up surveillance on social media.

"How can they just rely on an alert list and say they have issued a message to the public? It's like telling people that it's every man for himself," the legislator said.

"Hounax was already put on the list by the SFC on November 1. But I wonder, since it is considered a suspicious platform, why can't [the regulator] go a step further? They can block the platform and prevent it from contacting the public. I think [the SFC], as a regulator, is rather passive."

Fellow lawmaker Johnny Ng told the same programme that at least five people have approached him for help, with one reportedly losing HK$1 million.

Ng said the regulator could work with the police to take action.

Police earlier alleged that more than 130 people had lost money through Hounax. The SFC said it has received 15 complaints so far, and it has been sharing intelligence with the police via a newly established mechanism.

SFC too passive over Hounax: lawmaker