South Korea Launches Virtual Asset Investigation Unit

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  • South Korea has established a dedicated Virtual Asset Joint Investigation Unit to tackle digital asset fraud cases
  • The unit, the first of its kind in South Korea, will focus on investigating digital asset fraud and securitization-related issues
  • The new unit has been formed on the back of law enforcement’s pursuit of Do Kwon

South Korea is so determined to avoid anything like the Terra/LUNA collapse from happening on its soil again that it is setting up a new unit to look specifically into virtual asset crime. The Seoul Southern District Prosecutors’ Office last week announced a Virtual Asset Joint Investigation Unit which will tackle digital asset fraud cases following the high-profile case of Terraform Labs and the chase for Do Kwon, which has embarrassed South Korean officials and left them chasing shadows at times.

Terraform Labs Was Ultimate Wake Up Call

The dedicated unit will be the first of its kind in South Korea and is expected to pave the way for similar forces in other Prosecutors’ Offices nationwide. The team will focus on investigating various forms of digital asset fraud and addressing securitization-related issues, with specialist investigators receiving training and potentially expanding the scope of the Prosecutor’s Office to probe other types of crimes in addition to digital asset fraud.

No one could have predicted the impact that the Terra/LUNA collapse would have on South Korean law enforcement, but it seems to have acted as a wake up call to what is possible. Despite having never prosecuted a case like this before, the District Prosecutors’ Office is confident that they have a strong case against Kwon, if they can bring him back from Serbia; it claims to have accumulated sufficient evidence to seek a maximum sentence of 40 years for Kwon.

South Korea Ready

The investigation has included tracing a significant payment made to Terraform Labs lawyers prior to the downfall while officers have also successfully located and frozen Kwon’s assets in South Korea, including bank deposits, a luxurious apartment complex, and a fleet of cars, totaling over $100 million in value.

While everyone in the crypto space hopes that such a gargantuan collapse doesn’t happen again, at least South Korea will be ready to do its bit if required.