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South Korean authorities have investigated 33 people suspected of conducting illegal overseas cryptocurrency transactions worth around $1.48 billion, the Korea Times reported on 7 July.

According to the publication, the interagency investigation lasted between April and September last year, and was looking into suspected money laundering and crypto fraud in the country. On Wednesday, Seoul’s Central Customs revealed it has found 33 people that have tried to bypass the country’s ban on overseas crypto trading. The agencies have already fined 15 people, referred 14 to state prosecutors, while the remaining four continue to be under investigation.

The crimes fall under three categories, with the most committed one — which involved almost half the money, or just over $700 million — being engaging in foreign crypto exchange trading, which is banned in the country, with people allegedly transferring funds to third-party entities to be used in overseas exchanges.

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The second category was of people falsifying remittance records to purchase tokes from overseas exchanges, with one exchange operator allegedly using $308 million in fake invoices to earn $9 million in capital gains. The last group was of people using Korean credit cards to make withdrawals abroad, and buy crypto from exchanges. A custom’s official said in a statement:

“Virtual asset transfers under the guise of trade, travel or study expenses are strictly prohibited. Violators will be subject to criminal prosecution or fines.”

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