[THE INVESTOR] The number of people who smuggled cash from Korea to buy cryptocurrencies has increased drastically since the government crackdown earlier this year, with the amount reaching 10 billion won (US$8.86 million), data showed on Oct. 4.
According to data compiled by Rep. Park Young-sun of the ruling Minjoo Party based on statistics from the Korea Customs Service, from January to August, the authorities foiled 30 attempts to smuggle cash totaling 9.83 billion won to trade cryptocurrencies overseas. The number is a significant increase from last year when three smuggling attempts of 355 million won were detected.
Among the attempts, 29 cases totaling 3.99 billion won were tracked by the customs authorities, while another was uncovered when the person bought 5.84 billion won worth of cryptocurrencies in Hong Kong, Thailand and Indonesia, and tried to sell them back on Korean exchanges.
“Such smuggling attempts can be expected as the government is blocking local cryptocurrency exchanges,” said Park. “But until now, the government hasn’t even defined cryptocurrency. The government should come up with a legal basis for cryptocurrencies, including the definition and taxation, to curb any misuse or side effects in the future.”
By Ahn Sung-mi (firstname.lastname@example.org)