The widespread increase in the use of cryptocurrency has also increased the number of crimes related to it by 800%. The growing crime wave has pushed the South Korean Supreme Prosecutors’ Office (SPO) to establish a task force that specifically looks into cryptocurrency related crimes and fraud, KBS News reported.
The surge gradually increased in 2016 and 2017, however, it sped up last year when South Korea’s residents reported 4,591 crypto-related crimes to the authorities. The task force was formed as a result of the discussion between all prosecutors and investigators in the country that was held earlier this week in Seocho-dung, Seoul.
Power of the Task Force
For now, the task force is going to fight against money laundering, fraud, and other illegal activities. According to reports, the task force has the ability to track down accounts which are suspected of any illicit financial activities. There is no information as to how this will be carried out, but considering it’s a matter of public security, it’s unlikely that such information will be released at all.
Along with the help of relevant government authorities, the task force aims to freeze accounts, recover lost funds and pursue lawsuits on behalf of the victims.
The Imminent Threat
It is anticipated by experts that such crimes will increase over the years as cryptocurrency becomes more widespread. We can expect ‘specialist crime-fighting units’ in the future and not just ‘task forces.’
Last month, more than 7,000 crypto-related crimes were reported in Japan. Suspected money laundering and frauds made up most of them. This means that even in Japan, cryptocurrency has seen a ten-fold increase in crimes compared to 2017.
Not only Japan, similar reports have been filed in the U.K. where losses amounted $250 million approximately. However, when we take into consideration the entire percentage of financial crimes, cryptocurrency crimes still make up a small fraction. Let’s hope it stays that way.
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