SOUTH KOREA: Interagency investigation unit launched to fight fiscal fraud, tax evasion.

As published on en.yna.co.kr, Friday 30 September, 2022.

An interagency investigation unit came into being Friday to root out fiscal fraud, tax evasion and other crimes targeting state coffers, officials said.

The joint fiscal crime investigation unit began its operation at the Seoul Northern District Prosecutors Office, staffed by some 30 investigators from the prosecution, the National Tax Service, the Korea Customs Service and other financial regulation bodies, according to the Supreme Prosecutors Office.

Yoo Jin-seung, a senior prosecutor well-versed in offshore tax evasion, has been named its head.

The new unit will be in charge of crimes targeting state coffers, including fiscal fraud and tax evasion, as well as money laundering, prosecution officials said, adding it will handle the investigative procedures from detecting and analyzing criminal cases to prosecuting those responsible in a fast-track manner.

The launch came as law enforcement bodies increase efforts to catch up with increasingly globalized and sophisticated fiscal fraud and other crimes.

Annual state subsidies to regional governments, civic groups and individuals doubled to 125.8 trillion won (US$87.8 billion) in 2021 from 59.1 trillion won in 2017. A total of 170 billion won of the subsidies distributed over the five-year period were fraudulently appropriated, officials said.