A South Korean court has sent a drug dealer who sold narcotics to crypto-paying “customers” to jail for seven years.
Per the news agency Yonhap, the Criminal Division of the Busan District Court also ordered the unnamed individual – referred to by the media as “A” – to pay a fine of over $9,000.
The court further ordered A to attend a 40-hour narcotics treatment and rehabilitation program.
A denied all charges of selling drugs, but admitted to taking narcotics including ketamine.
Prosecutors said A “distributed drugs” using “dead drop” methods. The court heard that A regularly hid bags of narcotics “in water meters and public flower beds.”
The court heard that A asked to be “paid in virtual currency to leave no trace” for investigators.
The prosecution added that A had “conspired” with another drug dealer to sell narcotics “in small quantities” in the capital Seoul.
🇰🇷 South Korean ‘Bogus Crypto Exchange’ Fraudster Jailed
Here’s a shortcut👇
— Cryptonews.com (@cryptonews) January 22, 2024
South Korean Courts Fighting Crypto Drug War?
South Korean police have been waging what the nation’s President has called a “war” against youth crypto-powered drug crime.
In many cases, police have unearthed networks of crypto-holding teenagers and people in their twenties who use darkweb portals to find dealers.
But Cryptonews.com has seen scores of what appear to be South Korean drug dealers openly advertising their services on X (Twitter).
Most of these individuals direct would-be customers to Telegram addresses. Police say that dealers and drug buyers discuss payment on Telegram.
After dealers receive payment in their crypto wallets, police spokespeople have explained, they perform dead drops in districts of their customers’ choosing.
The dealers then send buyers photographs of the areas where they have left the drugs, as well as instructions on how to pick up the narcotics safely.
Cryptonews.com has seen X posts from what appears to be drug dealers who say they “deliver” drugs such as crystal meth, marijuana, and MDMA (ecstasy) “nationwide.”
Crypto-powered Drug Crime Spirals in South Korea
Last year, another court in the same city sentenced one of A’s accomplices to two years and six months in prison, as well as a fine of around $9,000.
The court heard this individual distributed narcotics such as MDMA (ecstasy) and marijuana using dead drop methods for another dealer.
Eventually, prosecution officials explained, this individual created their own Telegram channel and began selling drugs for crypto.
Yonhap also reported that the court said it had shown “leniency” in sentencing as the man had “shown remorse for his actions.”
The presiding judge explained that the man “had made an immediate confession” to the police following his arrest.
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