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South Korean Police Arrest Suspected OTC Crypto Thief

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 1 min read
A set of black handcuffs on a wooden background.
Source: spaxiax/Adobe

South Korean police have arrested a man they suspect of stealing cash as part of a bogus over-the-counter (OTC) crypto exchange.

Per the broadcaster KBS, police officers in the town of Icheon, Gyeonggi Province, said they had arrested a man “in his 20s” on theft-related charges.

Officers said that the man “lured” a victim into believing the deal was a bone fide crypto transaction.

The man allegedly offered to sell the victim unspecified cryptoassets for the sum of around $10,700 in cash.

The duo reportedly arranged to meet at a public park in Icheon at 6am on January 4 to conclude the transaction.

However, police claim, the man arrived at the park in a car. The victim then allegedly handed over the cash to the man.

The latter then took the cash, put it in the passenger seat glove box, and then sped away without transferring the coins.

The alleged victim immediately filed a report at the nearest police station. Officers arrested the suspect shortly after.

The Icheon Police Station, in Gyeonggi Province, South Korea.
The Icheon Police Station, in Gyeonggi Province, South Korea. (Source: Yonhap News TV/YouTube)

OTC in South Korea: Crackdown Incoming?

South Korean officials have set their sights on regulating the OTC and peer-to-peer (P2P) crypto markets, as they crack down on unregistered sales.

Last year, the Korea Customs Service claimed that “illegal foreign exchange transactions” made using crypto hit the $4 billion mark in 2022.

Financial regulators have teamed up with the nation’s biggest crypto exchanges in a bid to identify and shut down illegal OTC operators.

And police say that darkweb operators use illicit portals to facilitate millions of USD worth of illegal P2P deals.

Law enforcement officials are waging war on an epidemic of teenage crypto-powered drug trading.

In November last year, police in Daegu raided a “drug trafficking organization” that used crypto as a tool for payments, arresting 48 people.

Police and public prosecutors have quadrupled their spending on crypto and blockchain analytics tools as they try to close the net on offenders.