Recovering the stolen virtual assets worth 4.5 billion won overseas for the first time… Storage for money laundering purposes in Latin America


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The National Investigation Headquarters of the National Police Agency announced on the 7th that it had recovered 1360 Ether, a virtual asset worth 4.5 billion won, stored in an exchange in Latin America. This is the first time that a Korean investigative agency has retrieved virtual assets that were stolen by hackers and stored on an overseas exchange for the purpose of money laundering.

The virtual asset is part of a hacker with unknown identity who broke into the server of the domestic virtual asset exchange A in 2018 and robbed 11 kinds of bitcoin and ethereum. The stolen virtual assets were worth 50 billion won at the time.

After confirming that the virtual asset was leaked overseas, the government worked with investigative agencies in five countries to track down the suspect. In this process, we analyzed the flow of virtual assets by utilizing a virtual asset tracking program and collaborating with overseas exchanges.

In January of this year, the government confirmed that the stolen virtual assets were stored at Exchange B in Central and South America after passing through several overseas virtual asset exchanges.

After discussing about a dozen times with the lawyers of Exchange B and officials from domestic institutions for six months, the investigation team finally succeeded in receiving 1360 Ether from Exchange B at 9 am on the 1st.

What the police recovered is a part of the virtual assets stolen from Exchange A. The police will return the virtual asset to the victim in accordance with procedures and regulations.

“It is meaningful in that the investigation agency protected the victims by returning the stolen virtual assets to the country,” said an official from the National Security Agency.