According to official data, South Korean police have so far this year confiscated cryptocurrency valued at $1.3 million in connection with criminal investigations. Statistics also revealed that in 13 different incidents this year, authorities had petitioned courts to grant them permission to seize crypto assets. Officers made 36 such demands in 2021 compared to just eight requests in the entire year of 2020.
Choi Ki-sang, a politician from the Democratic Party, released the data that the National Police Agency had compiled. An entire year’s worth of data won’t likely be released until the middle of 2023, but it does include data from the “first half” of 2022.
However, local media has criticized the government because the amount represents only a tiny portion (1.4%) of the $92 million in assets that police have considered part of criminal investigations. Observers note that the low amount of $1.3 million proves the police lack the IT skills and expertise necessary to combat crime in the Web3 era.
They assert that police cannot keep up with criminals, and others suggest that cryptocurrency-powered money laundering is increasing significantly in South Korea.
A network of specialized crypto teams was established by the police last year, and the government is about to respond by establishing a new crypto regulator. Additionally, the nation’s prosecution office recently declared its willingness to invest significantly in high-end crypto monitoring equipment.
According to experts, as time passes, money-laundering technologies related to crypto assets get more sophisticated and intricate, but law enforcement organizations are unable to keep up. Government intervention may be necessary to enhance the quantity of illegal cryptocurrency confiscated in criminal investigations and facilitate investigations in cases involving crypto assets.