South Korea Seizes Three Crypto Exchanges, Alleges ‎Embezzlement ‎

Another exchange is charged with operating an illegal ‎fundraising business for ‎investing in ‎cryptocurrency ‎products‎.

‎South Korea’s regulator said on Wednesday that it has taken control of three ‎cryptocurrency ‎exchanges, and that the venues’ officials have been ‎prosecuted for alleged “embezzlement ‎crimes‏.”‏

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According to local media, the move is aimed at protecting consumer interests against ‎the ‎exchange’s unlawful practices. In other words, the action is not ‘directly’ related to the ‎government’s recent ‎crackdown to rein in the booming and volatile cryptocurrency sector.‎

Local outlet Yonhap quoted an official as saying one of the ‎suspected exchanges is charged ‎with transferring the virtual assets‎ of a cryptocurrency trader to the account of the exchange’s ‎‎representative or officer.‎

Separately, the FSA prosecutors are expanding their ‎investigations as an undisclosed ‎exchange is accused of operating illegal ‎fundraising business for investing in ‎cryptocurrency-linked ‎products.‎

South Korea’s Financial Services Commission didn’t disclose further details nor the names of ‎the defendants and only said in ‎a one-sentence statement: “It is ‎difficult to indicate the specific amount of forfeited assets at this point.”‎

The latest development comes amid Seoul’s shift toward tighter ‎regulation for ‎cryptocurrencies. South Korea — which has been ‎particularly seized by Bitcoin mania — has ‎also been scrutinizing ‎digital currencies exchanges, which were recently hit with massive ‎tax ‎demands, as part of ongoing efforts to control potential ‎systemic risks. ‎

On a related note, the Chairman of South Korea’s Financial Services Commission (FSA) today ‎said he maintains “a negative stance” to the proposed ICO by the country’s internet ‎giant Kakao, which owns the popular messaging app Kakao Talk.

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