Crypto Crackdown: South Korea Confiscates $375,000 Worth of Cryptocurrency

Crypto Crackdown: South Korea Confiscates $375,000 Worth of Cryptocurrency

South Korea’s city of Incheon has made a powerful move against tax evasion by confiscating $375,000 worth of cryptoassets from residents attempting to hide their earnings in token wallets. This proactive measure was undertaken as part of an ongoing crackdown on crypto-holding tax evaders in various regions across the country, involving both central and local tax agencies. Incheon’s rigorous efforts to enforce tax justice have not only targeted cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), but also encompassed other hidden financial assets, bonds, bank safety deposit boxes, and secondary financial institutions.

Incheon City has intensified its fight against tax evasion by establishing two dedicated teams of investigators since 2021. These teams are equipped with a suite of cutting-edge tools to detect tax evasion effectively. Seeking to create a tighter collection network, the city has specifically introduced seven new high-tech solutions, some of which are related to cryptocurrencies. The National Tax Service (NTS) and the customs service have also bolstered their capabilities by incorporating advanced crypto monitoring tools into their arsenals, ensuring that no tax-dodger can go unnoticed.

Options for Tax Evaders

Citizens who have attempted to evade taxes by hiding their earnings in cryptoassets now face a difficult decision. Incheon’s tax service offers them the choice of either paying their tax bills and associated fines or having their coins liquidated and sold off. This tough stance reflects the city’s determination to combat unscrupulous, chronic, and malicious tax evasion. For those who persist in evading their financial obligations, Incheon City vows to carry out further stringent tax collection operations, sparing no effort to safeguard tax justice and boost the city’s finances.

Incheon City’s relentless pursuit of tax evaders has paid off, with the collection of more than $43.6 million from tax evaders residing in the region in the fiscal year 2023. This sizable sum underscores the success of the city’s tax evasion-related initiatives and highlights the commitment of Kim Sang-gil, Incheon City’s financial planning chief, to fortify the city’s finances. With a clear objective in mind, Incheon City will continue to diversify its collection techniques, incorporating new strategies and technologies to bolster its financial standing and ensure the implementation of tax justice.

South Korea as a whole has made significant strides in combating tax evasion in the realm of cryptocurrencies. In September 2022, tax officials announced the seizure of a total of $186 million worth of cryptoassets. By December 2022, tax bodies had successfully confiscated coins from nearly 6,000 citizens since the crackdown’s inception. These accomplishments highlight the effectiveness and determination of the country’s tax authorities in bringing tax dodgers to justice and promoting fairness within the tax system.

Incheon City’s recent seizure of $375,000 worth of cryptoassets serves as a stark reminder to tax evaders that their attempts to hide earnings in cryptocurrencies will not go unnoticed or unpunished. With a combination of dedicated task forces, advanced technologies, and firm measures, South Korea’s crackdown on tax evasion continues to gain momentum. The significant revenue collected from tax evaders stands as a testament to the effectiveness of these efforts, ensuring the enforcement of tax justice and the advancement of the country’s financial stability.


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