SEOUL, May 26 (Yonhap) — Financial damage caused by cryptocurrency-related crimes has totaled more than 5.5 trillion won (US$4.9 billion) since 2017, a lawmaker said Wednesday, citing data from police.

According to Rep. Yun Chang-hyun of the main opposition People Power Party, the National Police Agency (NPA) estimated the damage to be 467 billion won in 2017, 169 billion won in 2018, 764 billion won in 2019, 214 billion won in 2020 and 92 billion won from January to April this year.

The NPA also said in documents sent to Yun that a total of 585 cryptocurrency cases involving 1,183 suspects have been booked over the entire period.

The Gyeonggi Nambu Police Agency in southern Gyeonggi Province said separately that it has been investigating 14 people on suspicions of defrauding more than 69,000 people of 3.85 trillion won since July by promising them dividends in return for investing 6 million won in cryptocurrency exchanges.

The damage from all cases cited by the two police agencies totals 5.56 trillion won, according to Yun.

Earlier this month, police launched an intraagency task force to tackle crimes related to virtual assets.

This photo shows a monitor at a cryptocurrency exchange in Seoul displaying transactions in Ethereum on May 3, 2021. (Yonhap)