South Korean court has handed down a seven-year prison sentence to a drug dealer who used cryptocurrencies as a means of payment. The individual, referred to as "A" by the media, was also ordered to pay a fine of over $9,000. The case highlights the growing concern over the use of cryptocurrencies in illicit activities and the efforts of law enforcement agencies to combat such crimes.
The Verdict and the Charges
The Criminal Division of the Busan District Court in South Korea found the accused guilty of selling narcotics and sentenced them to seven years in prison. The court also imposed a fine of more than $9,000. Additionally, the court ordered the individual to attend a 40-hour narcotics treatment and rehabilitation program.
According to the prosecution, the drug dealer employed various methods to distribute drugs. One such method was the use of "dead drop" techniques, where bags of narcotics were hidden in water meters and public flower beds. The accused also requested payment in virtual currency to avoid leaving any traceable evidence for investigators.
South Korean Authorities' Fight Against Crypto Drug Crime
South Korean law enforcement agencies have been actively combating crypto-powered drug crime. The President of South Korea has even referred to it as a "war" against youth involvement in drug-related activities facilitated by cryptocurrencies.
Police have discovered numerous networks of crypto-holding individuals, particularly teenagers and people in their twenties, who use darkweb portals to connect with drug dealers. Interestingly, there have been instances where drug dealers openly advertise their services on social media platforms like Twitter.
Crypto Transactions and Dead Drops
The modus operandi of these drug dealers involves directing potential customers to communication channels like Telegram, where discussions about payment and transactions take place. Once the payment is made in cryptocurrencies, the dealers arrange for dead drops in the customers' preferred locations. They then send photographs and instructions to the buyers regarding the exact location of the drugs.
This is not the first case involving a crypto drug dealer in South Korea. In a similar case last year, an accomplice of the accused was sentenced to two years and six months in prison, along with a hefty fine. The accomplice had also used dead drop methods to distribute drugs and eventually started their own Telegram channel to facilitate crypto transactions.