Home Blockchain South Korean Police Arrest ‘Multinational OTC Crypto Theft Gang’

South Korean Police Arrest ‘Multinational OTC Crypto Theft Gang’

South Korean Police Arrest ‘Multinational OTC Crypto Theft Gang’

Tim Alper

Last updated:

| 1 min read

South Korean Police Arrest ‘Multinational Gang of OTC Crypto Thieves’

OTC crypto crime appears to be on the rise in South Korea, where police say they have arrested a “multinational gang” who allegedly locked a woman in a car before stealing cash.

MBN reported that officers from Geumcheon Police Station in Seoul arrested six people after “luring her” into a bogus OTC (over-the-counter) “crypto transaction.”

OTC Crypto ‘Crime’ – Suspects Say Victim ‘Was a Crypto Scammer’

Officers said the “gang” members include a South Korean man in his 30s and an Egyptian man in his 20s. Both were arrested on charges of illegal confinement and aggravated theft.

A police spokesperson said the group of six were accused of “locking a Vietnamese woman in a car.”

Officers said the incident took place in the Gasan District of the capital Seoul at around 11 am on December 3, 2023.

The gang allegedly stole the woman’s cell phone, as well as a bag “containing about $127,630” in cash.

Officers say they left her locked in the vehicle with no way of escaping. The suspects then proceeded to “flee the scene” using “another vehicle they had prepared.”

However, police said they were quick to respond, with officers “arriving within a minute of receiving an emergency call.”

Officers arrested three people at the alleged crime scene. Police investigators arrested the other three suspected “gang” members later.

However, the suspects have claimed that they – not the alleged victim – were the ones on the sharp end of crypto fraud. The gang members reportedly told the police:

“We are the victims of a cryptocurrency scam. The woman we locked in the vehicle is a delivery person for the scam organizers.”

Police officers said that the group has been released on bail. They added that the prosecution service is now handling their cases.

Geumcheon Police Station, Seoul
Geumcheon Police Station, Seoul. (Source: hyolee2 [CC BY-SA 4.0])

Police Dealing With Multiple Cases

Police in nearby Incheon also made six arrests in connection with a suspected $747,000 OTC trade on February 20.

This follows an arrest in Icheon, Gyeonggi Province, where a suspected fake OTC trader reportedly ran off with a crypto buyer’s $10,700.

Police have warned the public that in-person OTC crypto trades are risky. That claim they have noted a steep rise in related crimes in recent months.

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