S. Korean authorities uncover illegal 'kimchi premium' cryptocurrency transactions
Seoul Main Customs discovered unlawful foreign exchange dealings involving dozens of people taking advantage of the “kimchi premium”, a gap in domestic exchanges for cryptocurrency prices compared to foreign exchanges.
The illegal kimchi premium transactions were among unlawful financial deals probed during the April-June period worth around 1.69 trillion won.
The list includes illegal foreign exchange transactions worth 812.2 billion won.
There were 785.1 billion won remitted overseas to purchase cryptocurrencies and falsely reported as costs for trading or studying abroad.
There were also 95.4 billion won withdrawals from ATMs overseas using domestic credit cards and paid to cryptocurrency exchanges there.
There were 33 people nabbed in the latest crackdown, with 14 of them reported to the prosecutors’ office and 15 imposed fines totaling 26.3 billion.
The possibility of criminal acts using virtual assets has increased, backed by a recent spike in cryptocurrency prices.
The Seoul Main Customs, a regional office of South Korea's customs agency, vowed to conduct detailed analysis on criminal acts of cryptocurrencies, said an official.
The National Tax Service is also investigating 46 individuals and firms suspected of dodging taxes through fintech platforms and hidden overseas accounts.