South Korea sees a 49% rise in crypto crime reports in 2023


  • South Korea reports a 48.8% increase in suspicious cryptocurrency transactions in 2023.
  • The Financial Intelligence Unit attributes the rise to enhanced communication with crypto service providers.
  • A new system to suspend suspicious crypto transactions is being developed for implementation by March.

South Korea has witnessed a 48.8% increase in reports of suspicious cryptocurrency transactions in 2023 compared to the previous year. According to a recent report by the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), the country recorded 16,076 crypto transactions suspected of being linked to illegal activities such as money laundering, market manipulation, or the illegal drug trade. This uptick in reporting is attributed to the FIU’s efforts to foster active communication with local cryptocurrency service providers, encouraging them to report suspicious activities.

Enhanced monitoring and regulatory efforts

The FIU’s report highlights the increase in suspicious transaction reports and a significant rise in the number of crypto crime cases forwarded to law enforcement agencies for investigation, which saw a 90% increase year-over-year. The FIU is taking proactive steps to strengthen its monitoring and regulatory framework in response to the growing concern over cryptocurrency-related crimes.

A notable initiative is the development of a new system designed to immediately suspend suspicious virtual asset transactions pending investigation by local prosecutors. The FIU aims to complete preliminary research for adopting this system by March, signaling a robust approach to curbing crypto crimes.

Furthermore, the South Korea Customs Office has shed light on the role of virtual assets in illegal foreign exchange transactions. According to their findings, approximately 88% of such illegal activities involved cryptocurrencies, with perpetrators using digital assets to conceal transaction settlements and evade taxes. In response, the customs authority has established a dedicated team to combat cryptocurrency-related crimes, underscoring the government’s commitment to addressing this issue comprehensively.

South Korea intensifies crackdown on crypto crimes

The escalation in crypto crime reports comes when South Korea is tightening its grip on cryptocurrency regulations. The Financial Services Commission, the nation’s top financial regulator, has issued a stern warning against crypto criminals.

It stated that those guilty of committing illicit market acts could face severe criminal punishments, including life imprisonment, under the country’s new law for protecting crypto investors, set to take effect on July 19. This legislative move reflects the government’s resolve to protect investors and maintain the integrity of the cryptocurrency market.

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decision.

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Mutuma Maxwell

Maxwell especially enjoys penning pieces about blockchain and cryptocurrency. He started his venture into blogging in 2020, later focusing on the world of cryptocurrencies. His life's work is to introduce the concept of decentralization to people worldwide.

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