- The crypto exchange was raided by South Korean prosecutors investigating price manipulation linked to an unnamed coin.
- Authorities noted that the operation was a “search and seizure” of transaction records tied to the token and had little to do with Bithumb itself.
- The crypto exchange is also being scrutinized for tax evasion and its Chairman Kang Jong-Hyun was accused of fraud in a separate case.
Bithumb offices in South Korea were stormed on Thursday by local authorities investigating token price manipulation, media house Yonhap news reported late yesterday. The crypto exchange is one of five crypto trading venues still running in South Korea after a major crackdown on digital asset service providers in 2021.
Per the report, prosecutors conducted “a search and seizure to secure the transaction details of a specific coin”. An official added that the raid was not targeted specifically at Bithumb and that other crypto exchanges might be probed.
The coin in question was not named for reasons that authorities are yet to share. South Korean investigators only noted that illicit profits were gained from price manipulation. It’s unclear whether the suspect is an individual or a group.
Bithumb Under Tax Evasion Probe
Earlier in January, The National Tax Service opened an investigation on the crypto exchange for possible code violations. The watchdog pointed to transactions both local and international across Bithumb’s Korean division, its holding company, and other affiliates.
The platform was also probed in 2018 for back taxes but the charges were dropped. Former Chairman Lee Jung-Hoon was also cleared of charges in a $100 million fraud case at the start of January 2023.
South Korean Prosecutors On High Alert After Terra
Local authorities have opened a myriad of probes on the crypto industry following the $40 billion implosion of Do Kwon’s TerraLuna and TerraUST. Kwon remains wanted in 195 countries due to an Interpol arrest warrant. South Korean law enforcement also moved to invalidate his passport and issued papers for Kwon’s arrest as well.
The raid on Bithumb comes months after prosecutors stormed the offices of seven exchanges in search of records connected to Do Kwon’s empire.