S.Korea: Coinone Linked to ‘Gangnam Murder’ Included in ‘Listing Solicitation Case’

Korean National Police (KNP) have discovered a link between the suspect in the kidnapping and murder of a woman in her 40s in Gangnam, Seoul and a cryptocurrency investment that was brought to light during the investigation of the case of the “cryptocurrency exchange listing solicitation broker” prosecuted by the prosecution.

The suspect, identified as Imo, was attending a hearing for a warrant review ahead of his arrest at the Seoul Central District Court in Seocho-gu on the morning of April 3.

According to police on April 4, they obtained a statement from Imo that the victim, A, had invested a total of KRW 90 million ($68,500) in the crypto asset firm where she worked in 2020 but suffered a loss of about KRW 80 million.

The cryptocurrency that Imo invested in was reportedly P Coin, which is under investigation by the prosecution for alleged illegal listing fees. Imo was also reportedly involved in a case in which investors who were staying at a hotel in Gangnam were robbed of cryptocurrency.

The investigation into the cryptocurrency investment of the suspect and the victim is believed to have led to the discovery of the link between the suspect and the cryptocurrency exchange listing solicitation broker case.

Last month, the prosecution arrested the broker on suspicion of embezzlement and bribery for allegedly giving a total of KRW 928 million worth of cryptocurrency and cash to a former executive and a listing team leader of Coinone, a crypto asset exchange, from December 2019 to May 2021 in exchange for listing 29 cryptocurrencies, including P Coin.

The investigation into the broker revealed irregularities in the listing process of cryptocurrencies on the exchange, including allegations of market manipulation and collusion. The suspect’s investment in P Coin is believed to be related to these irregularities.

P Coin was listed on Coinone on October 6, 2020, and soared to KRW 10,354 in December of the same year before plummeting to KRW 6.6 as of 6 p.m. on April 3, 2023.

The discovery of a link between the suspect in the kidnapping and murder case and the cryptocurrency investment has raised concerns about the need to strengthen regulations in the crypto asset market to prevent crimes related to it. It also highlights the importance of investigating cases involving cryptocurrency to uncover hidden criminal activities.

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