Police in South Korea have arrested 14 individuals in a cryptocurrency fraud case estimated to have cost 69,000 investors a total of US$3.85 billion, taking the country’s losses to US$5 billion over the past five years.

  • The number of criminal cases involving cryptocurrencies in South Korea has soared from 41 cases in 2017 to 333 cases last year. So far, 585 cases have been prosecuted and 1,183 offenders convicted.
  • In response, the Korean National Police Agency on May 18 formed a unit dedicated to fighting crypto crime named the Task Force for Comprehensive Countermeasures for Crimes Involving Virtual Assets.
  • Singapore, an early cryptocurrency adopter like South Korea, has also witnessed a rise in crypto crimes, with 125 cases reported in 2019 and 393 cases last year, according to the Straits Times newspaper.