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South Korean bank staff embezzles $7.5m to invest in crypto

south-korean-bank-staff-embezzles-7-5m-to-invest-in-crypto
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South Korean bank staff embezzles $7.5m to invest in crypto

An employee of South Korea’s Woori Bank has confessed to the police of embezzling $7.3 million from the bank to fund personal crypto investments, most of which failed.

According to reports from local news outlets, the employee who has not been named visited the West Gimhae Police Station in South Gyeongsang Province on June 10 to reveal the extent of their crimes.

Investigators have revealed that the employee in their thirties had invested the stolen funds in crypto ventures, trying to make personal gains for himself.

Unfortunately, however, most of those investments failed, resulting in him losing $4.35 million from the stolen money.

In response to these revelations, the South Korean police in charge has ramped up their investigations into the theft. They are gathering more data in cooperation with Woori Bank and are expected to apply for an arrest warrant soon.

Meanwhile, the bank detected the loss of funds through its internal monitoring systems even prior to the employee’s confession. The stolen money was reportedly siphoned from accounts related to loan operations.

A police spokesperson said that the employee is fully “cooperating with the ongoing police investigation.”

Woori Bank has vowed to conduct an intensive audit and review its internal control measures in the wake of the security incident.

A Woori Bank spokesperson said:

“We will identify the problems via a thorough investigation and will prevent similar cases from recurring.”

The bank is also reportedly planning to seek compensation from the employee for the embezzled funds.

Over the past year, South Korea has seen a notable rise in cryptocurrency-related crimes. According to a report from the nation’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) in February, the watchdog identified 16,076 suspicious transactions.

The FIU reported that the incidence of these crimes has surged by 48.8% since 2022.

In response to the latest surge in crypto crimes, South Korean authorities are contemplating the creation of a dedicated investigative unit to tackle them.