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South Korean 10,000 won note is seen on U.S. 100 dollar notes in this picture illustration taken in Seoul, South Korea, December 15, 2015. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji/File Photo

(reuters_tickers)

SEOUL (Reuters) - Collusion, price-fixing and disseminating false news in the foreign exchange market will be punishable by criminal law in South Korea for the first time starting later this year as the government toughens up regulation.

In enforcement regulations set out in an amendment on foreign exchange trading laws issued on Wednesday, the finance ministry said a person found guilty of disturbing order in foreign exchange trading for personal profit could be fined up to 500 million won ($438,000) or face up to five years in prison.

If, however, the targeted asset's value multiplied by three exceeds 500 million won, the guilty party can be fined up to three times the targeted value, according to the regulations.

For example, if a guilty party's targeted asset was worth 500 million won, he or she could face a fine of 1.5 billion won.

The courts will decide whether to define targeted assets as profits made after a criminal act or as assets used in the process of a crime, finance ministry officials told Reuters.

The amendment will be enforced from July 18 this year.

($1 = 1,140.4500 won)

(Reporting by Shinhyung Lee and Christine Kim; Editing by Eric Meijer)

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Reuters