South Korea's financial regulators said Sunday they will strengthen efforts to ferret out the illegal transfer and concealment of wealth abroad.
The Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) and the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) said they are now better able to detect certain transfers of funds to foreign countries that may have been carried out to avoid paying taxes at home.
The two agencies said that those who try to skip paying their dues will have to deal with the law and pay proper redemptions.
The latest move comes as President Moon Jae-in said early last week that sending money abroad so as to avoid paying taxes is an anti-social crime that must be rooted out. The chief executive then urged financial watchdogs, tax and customs offices and law enforcement agencies to work together to combat such transgressions.
The FIU, under the country's Financial Services Commission, will be tasked with detecting money laundering activities and the unlawful sending of funds overseas.
It plans to check for money transfers and to monitor suspicious movements of money through financial institutions.
The FSS said it aims to confirm whether such procedures were in accordance with Seoul's foreign exchange transaction act, which requires detailed and precise reporting to authorities.
It will, in particular, examine the transfer of money to set up overseas businesses or purchase real estate, as both methods have been used in the past to siphon wealth abroad.
The FSS said those who did not abide by the rules will be subject to stiff fines, while people and businesses suspected of having broken the law in a serious manner will be referred to the state prosecutors office for criminal investigation.
The latest action comes against a background of some wealthy people and businesses consistently coming under suspicion for breaking the law by trying to hide their wealth through borrowed name accounts at home or sending their money abroad. (Yonhap)