South Korean Ex-Police Officer Denies Crypto ‘Bribery’ Charges

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 1 min read
A hammer and gavel on a table in front of the South Korean flag.
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The trial of a former South Korean police officer has begun in Gwangju. The ex-law enforcer denies taking bribes during a suspected crypto fraud investigation.

Per the news broadcaster YTN, the former police sergeant is accused of receiving bribes from a crypto “broker.”

Prosecutors think the ex-police officer (surname: Jang) took over $30,000 in cash “on two occasions” in 2021.

The prosecution service said that Jang was part of a team investigating suspected crypto fraud in the capital Seoul.

Prosecutors say that a broker surnamed Seong gave Jang the money in a bid to divert the course of the investigation.

The court heard that Jang said he would “exert an influence” in a case that was “being investigated by the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency’s Financial Crimes Investigation Unit.”

Jang confessed to taking money from Seong. But Jang claimed the payments were loans, not bribes.

Jang told the court that a company where he “served as an executive” had been “experiencing [financial] difficulties.”

The prosecution service said it wanted to summon and interrogate Seong as a witness.

Did ‘Altcoin Fraudster’ Pay to Make Police Investigation ‘Go Away?’

The case appears to be linked with the trial of a suspected crypto fraudster who allegedly told victims they were investing in an art-themed altcoin and associated NFTs.

Prosecutors at this trial say an individual surnamed Tak, aged 44, “cheated” 13 “victims” out of some $2.1 million.

Officials think Tak paid Seong over $830,000 to help put a stop to a police investigation into Tak’s business dealings.

Tak, however, has claimed that payments made to Seong were legal and “above board.”

Last year, the South Korean Supreme Court jailed a crypto fraudster for 10 years, after hearing he amassed $153 million by running a bogus crypto firm named QRC Bank.

And last week, police officers in Incheon, Gyeonggi Province, arrested a man on suspicion of stealing cash during an in-person OTC exchange.