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South Korean Crypto Exchange CEO Arrested for Spying for North Korea

28 Apr, 20222 min readOther
South Korean Crypto Exchange CEO Arrested for Spying for North Korea

A 38-year-old South Korean executive at the helm of an unnamed cryptocurrency exchange has been indicted for spying for North Korea, according to a Thursday report published by Yonhap News Agency.The executive, whose last name is Lee, allegedly colluded with a North Korean spy last July to help him get access to sensitive military information in exchange for 700 million Korean won ($549,000).Lee paid 48 million won ($37,643) worth of crypto to a corrupt military captain in order to obtain access to a confidential military network.The exchange head gave the officer a wrist watch with a hidden camera in it in order to gather intelligence at his military unit. Both of them have been charged with violating a South Korean security law, which was adopted back in 1948 to counter the threat posed by the hostile northern neighbor. The captain also separately interacted with the North Korean spy.

Under the law, South Koreans are barred from visiting North Korea or meeting with the citizens of the pariah state without government approval. It also prohibits praising North Korea or disseminating its propaganda. In 2012, a South Korean photographer was indicted for retweeting pro-Kim Jong Il messages, but he was later acquitted.

The North Korean spy is still on the loose, according to the report. According to police, he had known the businessman for at least six years after they met each other in an online cryptocurrency community.

In early February, several executives of South Korean crypto exchange V Global ended up behind bars after committing fraud. Its former CEO, Lee Byung-gul, was sentenced to 22 years behind bars.

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