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.
South Korea Customs Service Finds Almost $600 Million in Cryptocurrency Crime
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 anonymoustrades.
Wait and See
Even the Republic’s chief of state recently issued guidelines concerning public officials and their involvement in crypto. There has been a multi-pronged approach to limiting, if not outright ending, foreign participation in exchanges, which included South Korean card companies.
Ecosystem markets were rocked at the end of the year when fears arose cryptocurrencies would be banned outright. It turned out to be just a minister spouting off, but that unleashed a wave of dips in prices, and it spurred domestic protests to essentially leave cryptocurrencies alone.
As East Asia’s fourth largest economy, South Korea punches above its weight in the crypto world, clearly. “The customs office added that it would continue to monitor the use of cryptocurrencies in cases like illegal currency trading or money laundering,” Reuters explained. No word yet as to how the market will absorb this current controversy.