Prosecutors in South Korea are reportedly investigating foreign remittances of over 2 trillion Korean won (US$1.5 billion) at the country’s banks on suspicions of money laundering by crypto speculators.
See related article: US$1.5B South Korean ‘kimchi premium’ crypto scheme prompts 33 arrests
- The Seoul Central District Prosecutor’s Office is examining foreign exchange transactions worth 1.3 trillion won at Shinhan Bank and another 800 billion won at Woori Bank after receiving relevant data from the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS), according to Yonhap.
- A considerable portion of the transactions were made to China.
- Multiple local media reports said the FSS has identified the companies involved in the transactions as indulging in illegal profit margin trading using the Bitcoin “Kimchi Premium.”
- Kimchi Premium is a term used to describe the premium at which Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies trade in South Korea over global markets, as foreign investors are barred from trading locally in crypto.
- The Bitcoin price in South Korea was once 20% higher than that on a foreign exchange last year during the crypto bull run.
- Hana, KB Kookmin and NH Nonghyup Bank also show similar records and may be investigated in the near future, according to local news outlet The Asia Business Daily.