Sixteen Arrested in South Korea for Illegal Crypto Trading Activities: Report

An investigation by the Korea Customs Service discovered over 2.7 trillion won ($2 billion) in illegal foreign exchange transactions related to virtual assets since February.

AccessTimeIconAug 31, 2022 at 3:52 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 3:35 p.m. UTC

South Korean customs authorities on Tuesday arrested 16 people involved in illegal foreign exchange transactions, reported local outlet Newsis.

Two out of the 16 people are set to be prosecuted, seven were fined for negligence and the probe continues for the remaining seven, according to the report.

The arrests stem from an investigation by the Korea Customs Service, which found more than 2.7 trillion won ($2 billion) in illegal foreign exchange transactions related to virtual assets since February.

Customs inspectors found that a number of the illegal foreign exchange transactions were related to offshore crypto exchanges, with some of the individuals having created companies such as illegal remittance agencies and then disguising trade proceeds from overseas buyers using domestic banks.

There is a high possibility these foreign exchange transactions might have violated the Foreign Exchange Transactions Act, Lee Min-geun, director of the Seoul Customs Investigation Bureau, told Newsis.

This is the latest in South Korea’s crackdown on illegal crypto activity. Earlier this month, the country’s money laundering watchdog, the Korea Financial Intelligence Unit, flagged 16 crypto firms for operating without registration.

The Korea Customs Service was not immediately available to comment.


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Camomile Shumba

Camomile Shumba is a CoinDesk regulatory reporter based in the UK. She previously worked as an intern for Business Insider and Bloomberg News. She does not currently hold value in any digital currencies or projects.