South Korean police crack down on 25 suspected Kimchi Premium BTC dealers

South Korean police crack down on 25 suspected Kimchi Premium BTC dealers


source: Shun Lee/ Unsplash

Law enforcers in South Korea continue to crack down on illegal premium kimchi traders – arresting 25 suspected traders they believe are operating an illegal international Bitcoin (BTC) trading ring.

KBS And the news It reported that the South Jeolla Province branch of the National Police Agency’s Security Investigation Division says that the trading ring processed $72,000 worth of illegal transactions through cryptocurrency exchanges in South Korea in 2021.

The department announced that 10 of the people it arrested were South Koreans, nine were Vietnamese, and another six were Vietnamese who had acquired South Korean citizenship.

The kimchi premium is a phenomenon where bitcoin trading volume during bull cryptocurrency markets is higher in South Korea than in other parts of the world. This surge in demand is driving up the price of BTC on South Korean exchanges – up to 30% and above on some occasions. Some traders have sought to use this to their own advantage, by buying coins from over-the-counter (OTC) dealers elsewhere in Asia and then dumping BTC on local exchanges.

Featured kimchi shot at 11:00 UTC on 09/21/2022, showing a price discrepancy of over 1.3%. (Source: screenshot / Cryprice.com)

This goes against South Korea’s strict laws on foreign exchange transactions, and traders often tried to cover their tracks by selling their bitcoins in exchange for cash deposits and moving their money abroad. Customs officials found that in many cases, merchants sought to purchase precious metals and semiconductors out of their profits.

The division said it was investigating possible links with Vietnam-based OTC traders and claimed that the group may have been more active in April, May and June of last year — a time when BTC market prices in South Korea were about 10% higher than those in South Korea. Vietnam.

The officers said they were investigating the roles of 33 other people they believed may have links to the group and did not rule out the possibility of further arrests.

Customs officers in Seoul made 16 arrests as part of a similar investigation earlier this year, while a number of local banks may also find themselves in trouble with prosecutors and regulators conducting their own investigations into matters related to kimchi installments.



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