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Multiple Korean banks under probe for $6.5 billion worth of suspicious transactions

Multiple Korean banks under probe for $6.5 billion worth of suspicious transactions
Ana Zirojevic

Days after making their first arrests in a probe over suspicious multi-billion cryptocurrency-linked transactions via multiple branches of two South Korean banks, the authorities discovered additional irregular transfers involving more companies.

As it happens, the Korean Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) has discovered an additional $1 billion, and more was transferred in a series of suspicious transactions, bringing the total value of these transfers up to $6.5 billion, local news outlet Korea JoongAng Daily reported on August 15.

Details of the investigation

According to the report, a large part of this amount was transferred from a yet undisclosed crypto exchange, after which it was transferred overseas, including to Hong Kong, Japan, the United States, and China. 

The transactions that triggered the FSS included those made by newly-published companies and those above $50 million made by small businesses, leading the agency to believe that some of these may be paper companies using crypto-linked accounts to engage in illegal foreign currency transactions.

In addition, the agency also specified that the transferred money was used to import various products, such as semiconductors, jewelry, and cosmetics, and involved transactions made by a total of 65 companies.

As Finbold earlier reported, South Korean authorities arrested three individuals over concerns that included setting up an illegal crypto trading operation, submitting false financial data to banks, and carrying out suspicious foreign exchange transactions.

Korea’s other crypto troubles

In late July, South Korean investigators raided several local crypto exchanges, seizing transaction records and other material as part of the investigation into the circumstances that led to the demise of the Terra platform.

Meanwhile, Do Kwon, the CEO of Terraform Labs, which caused major losses for investors when both its stablecoin TerraUSD (UST) and native token Terra (LUNA) collapsed, has finally appeared in public for his first interview since the project’s $45 billion-worth demise.

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