Kim Ji-sook – Chief Judge at the Seoul Southern District Court – reportedly issued an arrest warrant for Kim Mo (Coinone listing team leader), listing broker Hwang Mo, and other executives of the exchange.
Prosecutors claimed they had received billions of won in bribes to list certain cryptocurrencies on the platform.
More Drama in South Korea
As reported by local media, the authorities of South Korea detained several employees of Coinone (one of the leading crypto exchanges in the country). Among the alleged criminals were Kim Mo (the company’s listing team leader) and Hwang Mo (a listing broker).
According to the magistrates, Kim violated the Concealment of Criminal Proceeds Control Act and breach of trust by pocketing a bribe worth one billion won (almost $760,000) from Hwang to list digital currencies such as Pica Coin on the platform. He reportedly admitted receiving the sum.
For his part, Hwang was charged with breach of trust. He bribed Kim and other Coinone executives, collectively distributing 2 billion won (approximately $1.5 million).
The cryptocurrency exchange is among the biggest in the East Asian country. The local regulators required South Korean platforms to abide by stricter rules in 2021, and Coinone was among the few to have completed the registration policies.
The country was in the spotlight earlier this week for another reason: the hacking attack on the crypto platform GDAC. As CryptoPotato reported, cybercriminals breached its security and drained over $13 million worth of digital currencies (23% of its total custodial assets).
GDAC took emergency measures and blocked deposits and withdrawals. It also reported the issue to the relevant law enforcement agencies and asked rival companies for help in the disturbing situation.
The Do Kwon Saga
The domestic authorities seem to be much more determined to combat crime in the cryptocurrency sector after the South Korean Co-Founder of Terraform Labs – Do Kwon – allegedly became a fugitive shortly after the collapse of LUNA/UST.
Multiple failed investors and agencies blamed the 31-year-old developer for being the main culprit behind the adverse event and insisted he faces justice for his actions. However, he was reluctant to cooperate and started hiding in different spots across the globe, with Dubai, Singapore, Russia, and Mauritius being among the possible destinations.
The notice upon arrival issued by the South Korean Ministry of Justice and Interpol joining the hunt seemed to have no effect, and Kwon’s whereabouts remained unknown for months.
Some sources indicated in December last year that he could be hiding in the Balkan country of Serbia. Kwon’s arrest finally happened in March at the Podgorica airport (the capital of Montenegro and Serbia’s western neighbor).
American prosecutors were quick to charge him with securities fraud, commodities fraud, and conspiracy after the detention.
It remains unclear whether Kwon will face justice in his homeland or in the United States. However, Montenegrin law requires him to spend at least 30 days in a local facility since he was arrested on their soil.
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