The Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong (SFC) began to investigate the activities of the BitForex cryptocurrency exchange, suspecting the platform of fraud.

The Hong Kong regulator has added the BitForex platform to the list of suspicious companies that may be associated with fraud. The SFC announced that the platform is not registered with the agency and does not have a virtual asset transaction license (VATP) in Hong Kong. The SFC has also asked Hong Kong law enforcement authorities to block access to the BitForex website and its social media pages.

“The Alert List is a list of organizations that have come to the attention of the SFC. They do not have permission to operate in Hong Kong, but they target Hong Kong investors and claim that they operate legally in the administrative region,” the SFC said.

The regulator suspected BitForex of fraud after the exchange suddenly suspended its services in February, and $57 million worth of crypto assets disappeared from its hot wallets. Many users also complained about problems with access to the site. Previously, Japanese regulators also warned that BitForex was operating in the country without registration, and suspected the exchange of inflating trading volumes. The current operational status of BitForex still remains uncertain as the analytics portal CoinMarketCap no longer provides live data on the platform.

The SFC recently blocked a group of suspicious websites posing as licensed cryptocurrency trading platforms. In February, trading platform HTX withdrew its application for a license in Hong Kong without disclosing the reasons for the withdrawal.