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Korean Province Seizes Crypto from 1,661 Investors due to Unpaid Fines

All over the globe, financial authorities and regulators appear to be monitoring the crypto market closely and are taking action against exchanges as well as individuals who don’t appear to be following the rules. A South Korean province recently seized cryptocurrencies from a total of 1,661 investors worth $5 million because they had arrears of about $12 million in fines. The seizure occurred after an extensive investigation that involved more than 30,000 companies as well as individuals, along with their crypto holdings spread across four exchanges. Gyeonggi is the most populous province in the country of South Korea. 

Last week, it announced that they had seized a total of 6.1 billion won in cryptocurrencies, which is around $5.1 million, from 1,661 people who had arrears of 14.4 billion in fines. According to the authorities, from May till August of the previous year, they had been conducting an investigation into 29,656 companies as well as individuals who had turned out to be delinquent on their payments of fine worth 1 million won or more that belonged to the category of ‘non-taxable income’. This included examining the crypto assets they held at a total of four exchanges.

In South Korean, non-taxable income refers to the income that’s collected and imposed in accordance with the country’s Administrative Procedures Act, such as administrative fines and government fees. For instance, a clothing retailer failed to pay an enforcement fee that had been imposed on him last year. The 20 million won were imposed for building an extension to his factory illegally. However, the investigation showed that the man owned around 500 million won in the form of cryptocurrency. Likewise, the chief executive of a frozen food company located in Namyangju also owned crypto of 600 million won even after he had paid 40 million won in arrears. 

This included the enforcement fee that had been imposed for changing his business establishment illegally to a warehouse back in 2017. Similarly, a local real estate company’s owner had arrears of 50 million won that had been imposed on him back in 2018 because of illegally extending and making changes to land quality. His crypto assets were worth 60 million. Head of the taxation department in Geyonggi, Kim Min-kyung said that this was the largest amount of crypto seized in the country from delinquents of nontaxable income. 

There is no doubt that this was the largest seizure to be made in the country under the category of nontaxable income, but it is also a fact that other cryptocurrency has also been seized in the same province before as well. The government of the Gyeonggi province had reported in June that they had seized cryptocurrencies from around 12,000 people and was valued at 53 billion won. These people had also been delinquent when it came to their tax payments, which had resulted in the seizure of their digital assets. It appears that South Korea is also taking action against crypto holders, particularly if they are not paying their fines and taxes. 

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