According to official data, South Korean police seized $1.3 million worth of cryptocurrencies as part of criminal investigations this year. According to Segye Ilbo, this figure is only a small fraction (1.4%) of the total $92 million worth of assets seized by officers in criminal investigations.
The data was compiled by the National Police Service and made public by Democratic Party MP Choi Ki-sang. The data includes figures for the “first half” of 2022, with the total figures not likely to be made public until mid-2023. Statistics also showed that officers filed requests from courts to confiscate crypto assets for 13 different cases this year. Officers made 36 such requests in 2021, compared to only eight in the whole of 2020.
$1.3M confiscated: Officers ‘Can’t Deal With Criminals’
Critics claimed that this meager $1.3 million figure showed the police lacked the knowledge and IT capacity necessary to tackle Web3-era crime. They claim that officers are failing to deal with criminals, and some have pointed out that crypto-backed money laundering is indeed growing rapidly in South Korea.
While the police announced last year that it launched a network of dedicated crypto teams, the government is poised to respond by launching a new crypto regulator. And more recently, the country’s investigative service also announced that it is ready to spend big on sophisticated crypto surveillance tools.