South Korean Prosecutors Create Task Force to Combat Crypto Criminals
Seoul prosecutors announced on March 5, 2019, that they are forming a “Task Force” with the sole purpose of fighting off crypto and fintech-related crimes of fraud as reported by the country’s News1 Agency.
Crime Fighting in Korea
To fight off an 800 percent increase in crypto-related and fintech-related crimes of fraud, South Korean prosecutors have gathered a joint force to monitor the cryptocurrency and fintech industry and protect Korean consumers against fraud.
The new group was formed for the exclusive purpose of fighting off crimes of high value-added fraudulent business schemes, which are often related to the cryptocurrency industry.
According to the country’s prosecutors, this type of crime increased from 53 in 2016 to 453 in 2017 and in 2018, there were around 4,591 prosecutors dealing with such cases.
The Task Force will be led by a team of professional investigators and prosecutors who will be working together in delegacies around the country to take action and prevent damages to investors while also applying techniques that enable them to recover existing damages.
According to News1, one of the Prosecutors involved stated:
“We will disseminate the TF functions and roles through inspection meetings and video surveillance conferences with the heads of relevant departments in the future, and actively respond to crimes that cause widespread damage to ordinary people by examining the situation of investigations.”
The Task Force functions
The prosecutors presenting the team agreed that it would act much like a research police department and, proposed that the Task Force would be able to track accounts and freeze these accounts in case there was evidence of illicit use.
It will also be responsible for finding the best options to retrieve stolen fund and apply recovery methods such as a revamped damage return system and class-action.
Moreover, prosecutors decided that they will share information with related governmental organizations and councils that play a big role in pushing cases up to a final instance in Seoul.
There have been a large number of high-profile fraudulent cases in the Korean blockchain ecosystem. This includes Bithumb, UPbit, and several others last year alone. The prosecutors presented these cases as an instance of the need for the Task Force.
Late year in June, Daegu, a miscellaneous crypto-based company in southern South Korea, took around $9.7 million in damages to about 20,000 victims. Later in October the same year, eight people were indicted as lenders guilty of stealing around $62.1 million in damages to 12,000 victims through a scammy P2P platform.