The largest crypto exchange in South Korea according to the 24 Hour Volume Ranking was raided by the national authorities.
According to CoinDesk Korea, Upbit was inspected by the Prosecutors’ Office based in Seoul on May 10-11. “The second part of the financial investigation of the southern Seoul District Prosecutor’s Office (head supervisor Jeong Daejeong) seized the head office of up-bit of Gangnam-gu in Seoul on the 10th and 11th,” wrote the online media.
The reason why Upbit was investigated is the illegal sale of cryptocurrencies to inexistent clients. According to Prosecutors’ Office, “We have secured hard disks and accounting books through confiscation. Analysis is expected to take days.”
Being asked by CoinDesk Korea, an Upbit official said that, “At this time, I can’t answer anything about this seizure.”
“Upbit is currently under investigation by the prosecution, and we are working diligently. UPbit services such as all transactions and withdrawals are operating normally. Your assets are kept securely in your account, so you can rest assured that you can use UPbit services,” wrote Upbit on its website.
The investigation is a consequence of the latest legislative changes regarding the crypto sector in the country.
As early as March 2018, prosecutors began a series of searches on three crypto trading platforms based in South Korea, accused of “siphoning off funds from customers’ accounts”. One of the companies was Coinnest, the fifth largest crypto exchange in Korea at that time. The investigation was completed with taking into custody the platform’s director and another executive.