South Korea’s Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) has launched an investigation into $3.4 billion in “anomalous” foreign exchange transactions by the country’s two largest commercial banks — Woori Bank and Shinhan Bank — over alleged cryptocurrency-related illegal activities.
According to Bloomberg, citing a statement from South Korea’s regulator, between May 3, 2021 and June 9, 2022, “abnormal” transactions totaling 1.6 trillion won ($1.3 billion) were recorded at five branches of Woori Bank ) recorded. Meanwhile, one of Shinhan Bank’s branches carried out suspicious transactions worth 2.5 trillion won ($2.1 billion) from February 23, 2021 to July 4, 2022.
Last week, Yonhap reported that the two banks were involved in “unusual” transactions worth 1.8 trillion won. Now the financial service is investigating a possible link between transactions and money laundering or currency speculation using crypto assets. According to one of the FSS management representatives, some of these transactions are related to crypto exchanges.
On July 1, South Korea’s financial regulator ordered all banks in the country to conduct an internal review of all large foreign transfers, as well as all suspicious cryptocurrency-related transactions, that took place in 2021 and the first half of this year. A report on the inspections carried out must be submitted to the supervisory authority by the end of July.