- South Korean authorities raided Woori Bank’s headquarters.
- A local news agency says that the accused were running phantom companies.
- Fraudsters are believed to have tried to exploit “Kimchi Premium”.
Citing several fraudulent foreign exchange remittances that took place, South Korean authorities raided Woori Bank headquarters on September 21, 2022. Yonhap, a local news agency, reported that the Daegu District Prosecutor’s Anti-Corruption Investigation Department is conducting a search and seizure warrant on Woori Banks’ headquarters in Seoul.
Furthermore, Yonhap made clarifications on the reasons for the warrant, stating:
Prosecutors have previously established that the accused were running multiple phantom corporations and trading digital assets without reporting them and presented false evidence to the bank to remit 400 billion won in foreign currency overseas.
Subsequently, the report adds that the Daegu District Prosecutor’s Anti-Corruption Investigation Department’s prosecutors were investigating the individual who was the then branch manager and believed to have been involved in this illicit transaction.
Reports conjectured that the fraudsters had committed this crime in an attempt to exploit “Kimchi Premium.” The Kimchi Premium is the price gap that occurs on crypto exchanges where the prices of crypto on South Korean exchanges sell at exorbitant rates compared to foreign exchanges.
Notably, the occurrence of the Woori Bank raid comes just a few weeks after three individuals were arrested. The subjects were said to have violated the Reporting and Use of Specific Financial Transaction Information and the Foreign Exchange Control Act.
While carrying out investigations related to crypto money laundering through banks between May 2021 and June 2022, South Korea’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and Financial Supervisory Service have found that illegal crypto transactions accumulated to $3.4 billion.
Although South Korea has become the leading crypto-market within the last two years, it is reported that 75% of illegal foreign exchange transactions are crypto-linked.