South Korea Identifies $7.2B Drained Though Crypto Exchanges
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South Korea’s financial watchdog, the Financial Supervisory Service, has found that since June 2022, $7.2 billion has flown in “abnormal” currency transactions, most of which have been moved through cryptocurrency exchanges.
According to Toure Bloomberg reporttransfers from Hana Bank, Kookmin Bank, Nonghyup Bank, Shinhan Bank, Woori Bank and seven other banks in the country were investigated.
Local media reports still to report South Korean authorities raided Woori Bank in Seoul as part of the investigation.
The investigation revealed a suspicious currency transaction that was made through a commercial bank. Currently, it is assumed that the crime targeted the “kimchi premium”, which suggests that the domestic virtual currency market is more expensive than the foreign one.
The anti-corruption investigation division of the Daegu District Attorney’s Office said its prosecutors were executing a search and seizure warrant at Woori Bank’s headquarters and investigating one of its employees accused of involvement in an illegal currency remittance.
Bloomberg had previously announced that South Korea was investigating Woo and Shinhan for transferring $3.4 billion in funds overseas.
The South Korean agency’s investigation is expected to be completed by the end of October.
Prosecutor’s additional findings
It was found that most of the funds were transferred to Hong Kong and that 82% of the transfers were made in US dollars.
The Financial Supervisory Service also detected an additional $680 million in “abnormal” transfers. Local reports it was also noted that authorities seized 259.8 billion won ($184.4 million).
Prosecutors had previously noted the existence of several virtual asset trading shell companies that went unreported and provided false evidence to the bank, as well as 400 billion won in remittances abroad. Three officials were investigated and arrested in connection with the shell companies.
South Korea has cracked down on illegal crypto activity and plans to speed up its new crypto rules by preparing thirteen proposals related to digital assets. The South Korean government has also issued an arrest warrant for Terra founder Do Kwon following the collapse of the Terra (LUNA) ecosystem this year.