South Korea anti-money laundering agency finds more suspicious foreign exchange transactions linked to cryptocurrencies
South Korea anti-money laundering agency finds more suspicious foreign exchange transactions linked to cryptocurrencies.
Staff at South Korea’s Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) said on Thursday that they had uncovered an additional $680 million in unusual foreign exchange transactions, bringing the total of “abnormal” transfers since June to about $7.2 billion.
Authorities confirmed that most of the suspicious foreign remittances involved cryptocurrency-related activities, as the transactions were from cryptocurrency exchanges to local companies and then sent abroad.
The FSS also said the investigation found that 82 companies, including travel-related companies and cosmetic companies, had so far been involved in the abnormal transfer of funds.
The announcement comes two months after the country’s financial regulator said it was proving an unusual $3.4 billion transfer of funds, possibly linked to cryptocurrency activity, after two of South Korea’s largest commercial banks, Shinhan Bank Woori Bank conducted an internal compliance check in June and found some suspicious foreign exchange transfers.
The financial watchdog, which officially launched its investigation in August, said today that it aims to complete its investigation of 12 local banks by October.
Of the total number of suspected cases, 72 percent, or $5.18 billion of funds, were sent to Hong Kong, 15 percent ($1.09 billion) to Japan and 5 percent ($360 million) to China, according to FSS data.
The US dollar accounted for 81.8% of irregular remittances, while the Japanese yen and Hong Kong dollar accounted for 15.3% and 3.1%, respectively.