In a bid to curb cryptocurrency-related crimes, the financial authorities of South Korea have taken a significant step by forming an interagency investigation team. The newly established joint virtual asset crime investigation unit will operate under the jurisdiction of the Seoul Southern District Prosecutors Office.
Uniting Forces Against Cryptocurrency Crimes
The interagency team boasts 30 investigators drawn from seven government agencies, including the prosecution, the Financial Supervisory Service, the National Tax Service, and the Korea Customs Service. Together, they aim to combat the rising instances of cryptocurrency-related offenses in the country.
Addressing the Legal Void
Highlighting the urgency of the situation, the authorities recognize that virtual assets, akin to stocks, lack comprehensive legal protection due to incomplete laws and systems. To address this void, the Joint Investigation Centre for Crypto Crimes will closely monitor market players involved in the issuance and distribution of cryptocurrencies.
Surge in Cryptocurrency-Related Damages
Cryptocurrency-related crimes have seen a significant surge in recent years. In 2022 alone, damages from such offenses soared by 118% to reach 1.02 trillion won ($797.81 million). The crimes include price manipulations, illegal foreign exchange transactions, and Ponzi schemes.
The newly formed team will focus its efforts on targeting cryptocurrencies used for illegal trading practices, tax evasions, unauthorized foreign exchange transfers, money laundering, and concealing criminal profits. Suspected crime-related transactions on local cryptocurrency exchanges rose by a staggering 1263%, from 66 in 2021 to 900 in 2022.
Joint Investigative Efforts
The team will take over ongoing investigations related to cryptocurrency crimes and prioritize new cases falling under its purview. By pooling resources and expertise from various government agencies, the joint investigative team aims to swiftly and effectively tackle cryptocurrency-related offenses in South Korea.
Safeguarding the Crypto Landscape
With the increasing popularity of cryptocurrencies, ensuring a secure and regulated crypto landscape becomes paramount. South Korea’s initiative to form an interagency investigation team demonstrates its commitment to safeguarding investors and cracking down on illicit activities within the cryptocurrency market.
Enhanced Market Integrity
As the joint virtual asset crime investigation unit takes shape, market players can expect increased scrutiny and accountability. The team’s presence is likely to promote greater transparency and integrity within the crypto ecosystem, fostering investor confidence and long-term sustainability.
As the team gears up to take action against cryptocurrency crimes, the authorities and the public are keenly watching the developments. By effectively addressing illegal activities, the interagency team plays a vital role in shaping the future of cryptocurrency regulations and security in South Korea.
In conclusion, South Korea’s establishment of an interagency investigation team dedicated to combating cryptocurrency-related crimes marks a significant step towards creating a safer and more reliable crypto landscape. With the joint virtual asset crime investigation unit in action, the country aims to deter illicit activities, protect investors, and promote responsible crypto practices, ultimately contributing to the maturation and growth of the cryptocurrency industry.