A South Korean province has seized cryptocurrencies worth over $5 million from 1,661 investors who were more than $12 million in arrears on their fines in total. The seizure followed an investigation of nearly 30,000 companies and individuals as well as their cryptocurrency holdings at four exchanges.
Korean Province Confiscates Cryptocurrencies for Unpaid Fines
The South Korean province of Gyeonggi, the most populous province in the country, announced last week that it had seized 6.1 billion won ($5.14 million) in cryptocurrencies from 1,661 people who were 14.4 billion won in arrears on their fines in total.
The authorities explained that from May to August last year, they conducted an investigation of 29,656 companies and individuals who were delinquent on their payments of 1 million won or more under the category of “nontaxable income.” This includes examining their cryptocurrency holdings at four exchanges.
Nontaxable income in South Korea refers to income imposed and collected in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act, such as government fees and administrative fines.
For example, a clothing wholesaler did not pay the enforcement fees of 20 million won imposed on him last year for illegally building an extension to his factory. However, the investigation revealed that he had 500 million won in cryptocurrency.
The CEO of a frozen food company in Namyangju had 600 million won in cryptocurrency even after paying 40 million won in arrears, including the enforcement fee imposed for illegally changing his business establishment to a warehouse in 2017.
The owner of a local real estate rental company, who had been 50 million won in arrears since 2018 for building illegal extensions and making land quality changes, owned 60 million won in cryptocurrency.
Kim Min-kyung, head of Gyeonggi’s taxation department, was quoted by local media as saying:
It is the largest amount of cryptocurrency seizure in the country for nontaxable income delinquents.
While this seizure may be the largest under the nontaxable income category, the province has seized more cryptocurrencies before. In June, the government of Gyeonggi Province reportedly seized cryptocurrencies worth more than 53 billion won from about 12,000 people who were delinquent on their tax payments.
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