South Korea remains active in its fight against crypto crimes in the country. This ramp up of efforts comes at a time when the country is experiencing a surge in crypto crimes. Authorities recently busted a drug marketplace using cryptocurrencies as means of payment for anonymity purposes.
The police arrested 4, and charged 82 without detention
As reported by a local news outlet, the Gyeongbuk National Police Agency of South Korea charged 86 individuals involved in the drug scheme. Out of the 86 people, 4 were formally arrested, being persons of utmost interest. 3 of the 4 who the report has kept anonymous sold and habitually used narcotics. The individuals’ actions were in contravention of the Narcotics Control Act of South Korea.
The 3 were identified to be in their 20s. Out of the the 86, the police charged 82 without detention. The 4 individuals of interest established a drug marketplace in a Telegram channel in May, 2021. Products included methamphetamine and synthetic cannabis. Payment for the drugs was in Bitcoin (BTC) for the purpose of anonymity.
The sellers used a procedure called the “throwing method” to deliver the drugs following payment. The procedure involved stuffing the drugs in outdoor facilities such as fire hydrants and mailboxes. The buyer would then proceed to the designated location within South Korea to retrieve the drugs. The report noted that the sellers had made profits to the tune of 100 million won ($72,000) with the sales.
South Korea targets crypto crimes with Virtual Asset Tracking Program
The South Korean authorities noted that the majority of the 82 buyers were in their 20s and 30s. Additionally, the police discovered that the offenders had no past criminal records. Most of them indulged in the act out of curiosity. Despite having drugs as its main focus, the use of crypto as payment underscores the growing rate of abuse of the crypto industry in South Korea.
South Korea is looking to put an extra layer of surveillance on crypto payments in its ‘Virtual Asset Tracking Program.’ Last month, South Korea noted that 75% of illegal FX transactions in 2022 were crypto-related. With the growing rate of crypto adoption in the country comes a surge in crypto-related crimes.
South Korea is not the only country facing an increase in crypto crimes. This month, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) revealed plans to set up a crypto unit. The unit would have the task of focusing on crypto-related offenses. The move comes at a time when the country is seeing an increase in crypto crimes.
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