South Korea arrests 16 over illegal crypto remittances

South Korean customs authorities have arrested 16 people who are allegedly involved in an illegal foreign exchange scheme connected to around $2bn of assets.

The news comes from Newsis, a local media outlet, that said that customs authorities will now prosecute at least two individuals who are linked to what is described as illegal transactions.

Another seven people will be fined over negligence, whereas the other seven suspects will be investigated.

Since February, Korea’s Customs Service has been on the job, snooping around $2bn worth of transactions that are tied to domestic and foreign crypto exchanges.

At least $283m were facilitated through illegal remittance agencies, according to Newsis. This comes on top of a previous move against cryptocurrency exchanges.

On August 18, South Korea’s Financial Intelligence Unit moved against 16 virtual asset service providers, including prominent names such as KuCoin, Poloniex and Phemex.

South Korea is often an early mover in blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies. The country is planning to tax cryptocurrencies, and it will also tax airdrops, which were previously uncovered by a proposed levy.

Effectively, South Korea will become the first place where cryptocurrencies are levied with a tax that is paid to the government, albeit there have been numerous delays in the implementation of this measure.

In the meantime, the country continues to investigate and act against practices that it deems suspicious.

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Source

Updated: 09/01/2022 — 12:00