New South Korean Task Force to Tackle 800% Reported Increase in Cryptocurrency Crime

The South Korean Supreme Prosecutors’ Office has created a task force dedicated to responding to a reported 800% increase in cryptocurrency crime complaints, South Korean news agency Naver reports.

The task force, which will reportedly be, “packed…with professional investigators, prosecutors, and investigators as team heads,” was inaugurated at a ceremony held recently in Soeul.

The event was reportedly attended by seven South Korean government Deputy and General Managers (including the Prosecutor General), the Deputy Chief of the Prosecutor’s Office, the Head of the Criminal Department, and several other South Korean officials.

The task force has been established to respond to a ‘surge’ of reported and prosecuted cryptocurrency and fintech-related frauds in Korea.

4591 related prosecutions in 2018 reportedly reflect a 2.4X increase in these types of legal actions in South Korea since 2015.

2018 cases include, “10.9 billion won ($8.8 million USD) damage to 20,000 victims of domestic and foreign victims in the money market…(and) eight people were indicted…(for defrauding 12 000) lenders who had suffered 70 billion won ($62 million USD) in damage using (a) fraudulent P2P (peer-to-peer crypto trading) platform.”

The task force will reportedly include divisions within the authority to track criminal proceeds, freeze them, facilitate class actions, “return crime income” and “recover…damage(s).”

According to an automated translation of comments made at the ceremony by the Prosecutor General:

“We will disseminate the (task force) functions and roles through…inspection meetings and …video…conferences with the heads of relevant departments in the future, and (will) actively respond to crimes that cause widespread damage to ordinary people…I will do everything (I can). ” 

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