Escaped South Korean Criminal Suspect ‘Used Weapon to Rob OTC Crypto Buyer’

An escaped South Korean criminal suspect reportedly stole almost $362,000 worth of cash in an armed robbery on an OTC crypto buyer.

Per Law TV News, police say the suspect – aged in his 40s – “lured” a victim to Seoul’s affluent Gangnam District before stealing the money.

Escaped South Korean Criminal ‘Had Help from Others’

The Ministry of Justice said on April 17 that the suspect was being held at the Seoul Detention Center on fraud charges.

The center allowed the suspect to leave in November 2023 to attend his father’s funeral. But the suspect used the opportunity to escape, and did not return as agreed. Police had been searching for the man ever since.

Seoul Detention Center. (Source: KBS News/YouTube)

Officers said the suspect “lured the victim to Gangnam,” saying that he “would sell” an unnamed cryptoasset for “cheaper than the market price.”

The alleged victim came to the district “on the morning of April 11” hoping to complete the OTC deal, police said.

But instead of transferring any crypto, the suspect allegedly “brandished a blunt weapon” before taking the cash and “running away.”

Police managed to identify the suspect using evidence they gathered from the scene, and “a background check helped hasten the arrest.”

A police spokesperson confirmed they had also arrested “a man in his 40s and a woman in her 30s” who they think helped the suspect escape.

The spokesperson confirmed that officers had “recovered most of the stolen cash.”

Police added that investigators were “still investigating the details of the incident.”

The South Korean won is now the most traded currency against cryptoassets globally with speculative demand for risky tokens in the country surging https://t.co/YStgPhTCUP

— Bloomberg (@business) April 16, 2024

OTC Crypto Crime on the Rise in South Korea

The number of OTC crypto-related crimes has ballooned in South Korea this year. In February, six people were arrested in a suspected OTC theft in Incheon.

In January, officers arrested a man in Icheon, Gyeonggi Province, on similar charges.

And officers said they arrested a gang of “OTC thieves” who also allegedly preyed on a victim in the Gangnam District earlier this month.

Police reported that another OTC crypto theft incident took place in Geumcheon in late February this year.

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