South Korea is no stranger to crypto crimes, and recent news has brought to light a dark-web-based drug trade- where the Gyeongbuk National Police Agency charged 86 individuals for partaking in a drug trade operation.
This news comes at a time when the nation is diligently targeting crypto-based crimes due to the growing prevalence of these coins in the country. This recent bust helped expose an operation that made use of cryptocurrencies for anonymous transactions.
In total, 86 individuals were involved in the operation, 4 of whom were officially charged. These 4 individuals have been described to be males in their twenties, and 3 of these individuals sold and customarily used narcotics.
Out of the 86 individuals, 82 were charged without detention. The quartet under question created a Telegram channel last year, where they sold products such as synthetic cannabis and methamphetamine- commonly known as meth among partakers. Using BTC as the only way of accepting payment in the entire operation.
These individuals never met their customers in person. They used designated public places, such as fire hydrants, mailboxes, and air conditioner extractor units, to drop off their bags of narcotics. The customers had to first make a payment in BTC and then collect their particular products from such facilities. The entire operation was kept entirely anonymous.
$72k Worth Of Profit For An Individual
While other details about the matter remain undisclosed, a local report on the crime mentioned one individual making a profit of $72,000 in Bitcoin by selling multiple drugs, including ketamine. These drugs were sold throughout the nation, with the dealers traveling across many provinces, including the North and South of Gyeongsang.
The authorities handling the operation mentioned that most of the individuals involved were first-time offenders who only partook in the trade because they were curious about the drugs and wanted to try them for once.
This bust only reveals the growing use of crypto for illegal transactions in the country. Just last month, South Korean officers arrested 178 individuals for suspected drug purchases that were facilitated through illegal brokers and unofficial Bitcoin exchanges.
Police officers made use of high-tech tools to monitor dark web activity and apparently suspicious transactions, and they’ve also launched a Darkweb and Cryptoasset Special Investigation Team to inspect suspected activities in the country.
Virtual Asset Tracking Program To Help South Korea Target Crimes
The use of crypto for illegal transactions has been growing in South Korea, and to mitigate the prevalence of these digital means, the country has a “Virtual Asset Tracking Program” to monitor crypto transactions.
Just last month, the authorities mentioned that a three fourth of all illegal FX transactions in the current year were crypto-related. This has been partly a consequence of the growing use of cryptocurrencies in the country.
The growing use of cryptocurrencies has increased not only crypto-related crimes in the country but also worldwide. In related news, Australia is taking significant steps to mitigate crypto crimes in the country. The Australian Federal Police is expected to set up a crypto unit that will focus on crypto-related offenses.
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