Economy 08-05-2024 05:01 13 Views

South Korean OTC Crypto ‘Thieves’ Admit Guilt in USDT Trial

Four suspected South Korean OTC crypto “thieves” have pleaded guilty to stealing around $735,000 from a crypto buyer in a “bogus” USDT deal.

Five men appeared at the Incheon District Court on May 7, all accused of crypto-related theft and fraud, Maeil Kyungjae and Kyeonggi Ilbo reported.

One suspect pleaded not guilty. But lawyers for the remaining four accepted the prosecution’s charges.

South Korean OTC Crypto ‘Thieves’ Trial Begins

The alleged incident took place in the Songnim District of Eastern Incheon at around 4 pm on February 19 this year.

Prosecutors think one of the gang’s members met the crypto enthusiast “through a mutual acquaintance.” This member then “offered to sell this individual USDT coins at below the market rate.”

The alleged victim’s lawyers said the stolen money had not yet been recovered. They called on the court to help return the funds.

Prosecution officials think one of the accused, a man “in his 20s,” belongs to a “violent gang.” They stated that the gang is “active in Incheon.”

Officials told the court the stolen cash may have been used in “a money laundering scheme.”

Victim Wants Money Back

During the police investigation, the alleged victim (aged in their 40s) claimed that the money was a “combination of” their own funds and “money borrowed from friends and acquaintances.”

The suspect who pleaded not guilty to the charges told the court said his legal team would provide a “written explanation” of his innocence.

Police originally arrested six people in conjunction with the incident.

However, officers later released one suspect after establishing this individual was not involved in the alleged theft.

Incheon District Court. (Source: MBC News/YouTube)

USDT Popularity Rising in South Korea

Reports of South Korean crypto OTC thefts have skyrocketed this year. The popularity of crypto investment – and USDT – is increasing fast in the East Asian nation.

In March, police arrested 10 people who allegedly stole around $74,000 worth of cash from a USDT buyer in the affluent Gangnam District.

Police also unveiled details of a similar incidents reported in Geumcheon in late February. Another incident was reported in Icheon in early January.

USDT is widely used in OTC and peer-to-peer trading throughout East Asia, primarily as a currency in Bitcoin (BTC) trading.

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