- South Korean authorities raided the headquarters of Woori Bank.
- A local news agency reported that the defendants were running front companies.
- It is believed that scammers tried to exploit “Kimchi Premium”.
Citing several fraudulent foreign exchange transfers that occurred, the South Korean authorities raided the Woori Bank headquarters on September 21, 2022. According to local news agency Yonhap, the Daegu Provincial Anti-Corruption Investigation Department is conducting a search and seizure order on Woori Banks headquarters in Seoul.
Moreover, Yonhap provided clarifications on the reasons for the memo saying:
The prosecutors had previously proven that the defendants were running several shell companies and trading in digital assets without reporting them and provided false evidence to the bank to transfer 400 billion won in foreign currency overseas.
Later, the report adds that prosecutors in the Anti-Corruption Investigation Department of the Daegu Prosecutor’s Office are investigating the person who was the branch manager at the time and believed to be involved in this illegal transaction.
Reports speculated that scammers may have committed this crime in an attempt to exploit “Kimchi Premium”. Kimchi Premium is the price gap that occurs on crypto exchanges as cryptocurrency prices on South Korean exchanges sell at exorbitant rates compared to foreign exchanges.
Notably, the Woori Bank raid comes a few weeks after the arrest of three individuals. The subjects were said to have violated the reporting and use of specific information on financial transactions and the Foreign Exchange Control Act.
While conducting investigations related to crypto money laundering through banks between May 2021 and June 2022, South Korea’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and Financial Supervision Service found that illegal crypto transactions had accumulated to $3.4 billion.
Although South Korea has become the leading crypto market over the past two years, it has been reported that 75% of illegal foreign exchange transactions are related to cryptocurrencies.
The publication of the Korean prosecutors’ execution of the search and takeover of Woori Bank first appeared in the Coin Edition.