8 indicted for melting coins to sell copper

By: Kim Se-jeong

Prosecutors have indicted eight people referred to them by police for allegedly melting 6 million 10-won coins to extract their copper alloy and selling it.

Bundang Police Station in Gyeonggi Province said Tuesday that prosecutors arrested two and booked six without detention.

While two versions of the 10-won coin are now in use, they targeted the older version made before 2006, which has more copper content than the new one; consisting of 65 percent of copper and 35 percent of zinc. When melted, the copper alone is worth 25 won.

They collected nearly 6 million coins across the country since May, and sold copper extracted from the coins, gaining almost 200 million won.

Under the related law, people damaging coins or bills can face up to a 5 million won fine or six months in prison.

“Five of the eight were caught for the same charge last year, but it seems they repeated the crime as the punishment was light,” a police officer said.