As per a report by South Korean paper Joongboo Ilbo, the National Police Agency of the country is experimenting with virtual asset seizure for non-payment of fines.
The pilot is being tested to facilitate digital collections of arrears and negligence fines through the local Gunpo Police Station.
Digital collection of arrears via crypto
The report noted that police seized and collected virtual currency worth 50 million won (around $38,000) owned by a delinquent person whose salaries and deposits were seized due to non-payment of traffic arrears fine of about 2.5 million won (around $1,900).
That said, the Gunpo Police Station collected approximately 88% of the target amount for non-payment of traffic fines under the pilot, per the report, in the first half of this year alone. This is the most arrears fines collected in three years, surpassing the fines collected to the tune of 850 million won (around $646,000) by the Gunpo Police Station last year.
By the end of 2022, the authorities intend to collect 1 billion won (over $760,000) in arrears and 880 million won ($669,000) by the end of June.
In a translated statement, Kwak Kyung-ho, head of the Gunpo Police Station, said that the aim is that faithful payers do not feel deprived amid the pandemic, but contrarily, the police intend to toughen collections from delinquents.
The development also follows the seizure of nearly $50 million in cryptocurrency from 12,000 people previously suspected of tax evasion in South Korea. In Japan as well, the authorities had laid down a proposal to confiscate illegally acquired crypto assets, gaining more power over digital wallets.
South Korea could toughen its crypto legislation
Meanwhile, reports also suggest that South Korean financial regulators might also revisit its current legislation on digital currencies after announcing the launch of a Digital Asset Committee earlier in June. The Financial Services Commission also launched a joint task force on Wednesday to establish a framework for digital assets, a week after the watchdog vowed to remove regulatory uncertainty in South Korea’s crypto industry, reports confirmed.
Recently, the domestic prosecutors also made their first arrests in a multi-billion dollar foreign-exchange investigation. The probe included finding possible links to illegal cryptocurrency-related activities via a remittance transfer of 400 billion won (around $304,000), reported local media this week.
Meanwhile, Kim Kab-lae, head of the consumer protection research center at the Korea Capital Market Institute told Korea Herald that “Digital assets could be a real threat to financial stability,” In context to the asset volatility, Kab-lae added, “That’s why there’s been debate over who issues the assets and what oversight is the best.”
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