In a shocking turn of events, Jinwook Shin, the CEO of the prominent cryptocurrency exchange Bitsonic, has been apprehended by South Korean law enforcement. The arrest, made on August 7, comes as part of an ongoing investigation into allegations of embezzlement and fraudulent activities involving Bitsonic users’ investments and deposits.
According to sources from South Korean news outlet Chosun Biz, the arrest follows accusations that Shin manipulated cryptocurrency prices and trading volumes on Bitsonic between January 2019 and May 2021. These alleged actions led to the staggering disappearance of approximately 10 billion won, equivalent to around $7.5 million, from the pockets of unsuspecting exchange users.
Even as liquidity problems began plaguing Bitsonic and the platform ceased withdrawal operations, Jinwook Shin shockingly persisted in enticing new clients with the allure of cryptocurrencies. This relentless pursuit of deception paints a troubling picture of the extent to which the CEO allegedly went to cover up his illicit activities.
Bitsonic’s Closure Amidst South Korea’s Crypto Crackdown
In a development that goes beyond the involvement of CEO Shin, the investigation launched in 2021 reveals that the vice president of Bitsonic, known by the moniker Mr. A, was involved in orchestrating a scheme to acquire the cryptocurrency maintained by Shin, within the exchange’s system. Indications from reports suggest that Shin utilized sophisticated methods, including the establishment of a paper company in Singapore, to execute his cunning strategies.
Bitsonic’s operations came to a grinding halt in August 2021, citing a medley of “internal and external issues.” This abrupt cessation mirrored the South Korean authorities crackdown on 11 local cryptocurrency platforms for fraudulent activities during the same period.
Recognizing the increasing prevalence of cryptocurrency-related crimes, South Korea has taken proactive measures by establishing an interagency investigation unit. This concerted effort aims to curb the surge in illicit activities within the cryptocurrency market while bolstering investor safeguards.
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