South Korean prosecutors on Jan. 18 indicted 20 people for illegally transferring about 4 trillion won (about $3.2 billion) abroad to profit from premium kimchi, according to local news reports. .
Cryptocurrencies are generally sold at higher prices on Korean exchanges than on foreign exchanges, and the difference is called the kimchi premium.
Illegal cryptocurrency sale
The accused individuals used 256 South Korean bank accounts to transfer funds disguised as foreign trade payments to Hong Kong and other countries to purchase cryptocurrencies from abroad.
The individual then sold cryptocurrencies in South Korea at a premium, prosecutors allege. report.
The accused allegedly bribed a broker 20 million won (approximately $16,180) to seamlessly open a bank account and exchange currency at a cheap rate.
$170 million profit from illegal trade
The illegal trade allegedly took place from January 2021 to August 2022. During this period, Kimchi’s premium rate rose to his 5%.
Prosecutors estimate that the defendant made as much as 210 billion won (about $170 million) in illegal trading profits.
Authorities are currently working to seize 13.1 billion won (about $10.6 million) of illegal proceeds, according to reports.