The South Korean financial watchdog, the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS), has announced the agency “will work with the state customs office to intensify monitoring of illegal foreign exchange trading in order to maintain order in the financial community”.
“The Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) will focus on protecting consumers and supporting the financially weak in order to secure stability of the financial system and establish order” FSS Governor Choi Soo-hyun said in a parliamentary audit session. Adding, “The FSS will also intensify supervision of financial scams and insurance frauds in order to strengthen consumer protection”.
Tthe FSS intends to conduct “special inspections” on illegal foreign exchange trading, such as buying ooverseas real estate without declaring to national authorities and evading taxes via offshore tax havens.
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According to data, authorities uncovered 1,015 cases of illegal foreign currency transactions last year, compared to 320 in the previous year. They discovered 563 cases in the first nine months of this year.
The amount of damages incurred from financial frauds, including voice phishing, in South Korea came to 224.1 billion won last year (~$211 million) and is expected to reach 270 billion won (~$254 million) in 2014 as 182.5 billion won (~$172 million) has already been reported between January and August this year. Insurance fraud damage has also been on the rise, with the amount totalling 453.3 billion won (~$426 million) in 2012 and 520 billion won (~$490 million) in 2013. The figure is anticipated to reach 570 billion won (~$536 million) this year.
The FSS said it is considering employing “pre-emptive measures” such as “delaying withdrawals of financial transactions between suspicious accounts” and tighter monitoring of unauthorized private lenders.