14 Cleared in South Korean ‘Kimchi Premium’ Crypto Case

Prosecutors pursuing cases of crypto market manipulation faced a setback as 14 out of 16 individuals accused of exploiting South Korea’s “kimchi premium” have been acquitted of significant charges.

Reports indicate that the suspects were accused of transferring $3.2 billion in cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies between April 2021 and August 2022 by capitalizing on the price gaps between Korean and global crypto exchanges.

The prosecution alleged that the defendants amassed profits exceeding $3 billion through their trading activities. They were accused of employing shell companies and deceptive trade transactions to conceal their actions. 

However, the Seoul Central District Court dismissed the prosecution’s argument, citing reliance on legal precedents established by the Supreme Court rather than explicit statutes about cryptocurrencies.

Unsatisfied with the district court’s ruling, the prosecution has appealed the decision, escalating the case to the High Court and the prosecution claims that traders exploited a total of $6.5 billion through the kimchi premium.

While the court did convict two of the defendants on minor charges, sentencing one to 12 months in jail and the other to six months, the majority of the accused were acquitted of the primary accusations.

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2024-02-12 11:00