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Two South Korean police officers are currently standing trial in an ongoing crypto fraud case. The case involves an alleged crypto fraudster named Tak, who is accused of orchestrating an art-themed altcoin scam and duping several victims out of approximately $2.1 million worth of fiat and crypto. Tak is accused of running a fake Ethereum and NFT-related project, convincing citizens to invest in a bogus crypto company. In response to investigations into Tak’s activities, he hired a legal broker named Seong, who allegedly paid over $7,300 in cash bribes to a superintendent police officer to secure a promotion for a police lieutenant from the same station.

Seong confessed to putting envelopes of cash into the police officers’ coat pockets at restaurants in an attempt to secure promotions through bribery. The superintendent officer and police lieutenant have both been suspended from their posts for the duration of the trials. Seong has admitted to bribing prosecution officials and police officers to help clear Tak’s name, but the plan quickly unraveled with the arrest of a Mokpo prosecutor who accepted a bribe from Seong. The case is growing in complexity, with the prosecution indicting a total of 18 individuals, including former and current prosecutors and police officials, as well as another broker involved in the scheme.

The defense lawyers for the accused police officers have raised questions about the accuracy of the allegations and challenged the timeline of events presented in court. They questioned why Seong would make the promotion request in February, after the police force reportedly finalizes its list of promotion candidates. Seong claimed to be in a hurry at the time, leading to unclear recollections of the events. The court proceedings are ongoing, with a reconvening scheduled for June 11. More police officers are expected to face trial in the coming weeks and months as part of the widening investigation into the crypto fraud case.

In a separate development related to cryptocurrency in South Korea, major exchange Bithumb announced that it will cover all the taxes imposed on the winners of its crypto airdrop events, totaling 40 billion won (approximately $30 million). The move by Bithumb is a response to regulatory efforts to ensure compliance in the crypto space and uphold tax obligations for participants in airdrop events. The decision by Bithumb reflects a concerted effort by cryptocurrency exchanges in South Korea to address regulatory concerns and promote transparency within the industry. It also highlights the importance of adhering to tax regulations in the ever-evolving landscape of cryptocurrency trading and investment.

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