South Korea Finds Nearly $600 Million in Crypto Crime

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by C. Edward Kelso

January 31, 2018

Reports from the 대한민국 Republic of South Korea (ROK) indicate its Customs Service announced on Wednesday, 31 January 2018, it has discovered “cryptocurrency crimes” which amount to nearly 600 million USD.

ROK Customs Service released a statement claiming to have “uncovered cryptocurrency crimes worth 637.5 billion won ($594.35 million),” according to Reuters. Evidently, it includes illegal foreign exchange trading, a statement released by the country’s customs service said on Wednesday.

Korean Customs Service’s (KCS) charter includes keeping “our society safer from illegal foreign transactions,” its website notes. Reporting on the incidents mention South Korean investors gobbling up almost 2 billion won in cryptocurrencies. Supposedly tokens and coins were then sent abroad through “virtual wallets,” only to be brought back in the form of fiat currencies “which amount to unrecorded capital outflows,” according to Reuters.

The statement continued, “Customs service have been closely looking at illegal foreign exchange trading using cryptocurrency as part of the government’s task force.” Reuters further explained, “Illegal foreign currency trading of 472.3 billion formed the bulk of the cryptocurrency crimes, Customs said, but gave no details on what action authorities were taking against the rule breaches.”

“Among other breaches,” the report continued, “Customs said there were also cases where investors in Japan sent their yen worth 53.7 billion won to their partners in South Korea for illegal currency trade.” This series of events comes at the end of a very hectic few months for the peninsular East Asian nation. Yesterday, US regulators in New York requested trading data on cryptocurrencies. New regulations regarding cryptocurrency exchanges took effect as well, essentially eliminating anonymous trades.

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