US, South Korea seek extradition of Do Kwon after his arrest in Montenegro

    In September, Interpol issued a red notice against Kwon.


    The United States and South Korea are seeking the extradition of fugitive crypto entrepreneur Do Kwon, reports say. The founder of Terra, a blockchain protocol and payment platform, along with the company’s chief financial officer Han Chang-Joon were arrested in Montenegro last week.


    According to Montenegro’s justice minister Marko Kovac, and as reported by Bloomberg, the gravity of crimes, location of committed offenses, sequence of requests, as well as citizenship will be given consideration. The judge added that if the suspects are convicted in Montenegro, a country in Southeastern Europe, they will first have to serve time there.


    Kwon was arrested at Podgorica airport in Montenegro on Thursday where he was trying to board a flight to Dubai with falsified documents from Costa Rica. After his arrest, the U.S. charged him with eight criminal indictments, including securities fraud and conspiracy, which followed a lawsuit by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. In South Korea, the 31-year-old is wanted for violations of the country’s capital markets act.


    In May last year, the collapse of Terra’s cryptocurrency – LUNA, and stablecoin – TerraUSD or UST wiped out about $40 billion from the crypto market. The Terra/LUNA collapse prompted an investigation into Kwon and his colleagues, which is ongoing for nearly a year now.


    Do Kwon’s whereabouts were unknown at that moment and he reportedly flew to Singapore. In September, Interpol issued a red notice against Kwon requesting law enforcement agencies worldwide to locate and arrest the East Asian crypto entrepreneur. Later, South Korea’s Foreign Affairs Ministry revoked the local passport of Kwon, who denied the claims.


    The collapse also came at a time when the crypto market was already reeling under a hard time amid weak global cues and the tightening of monetary policies across most economies in the world.


    The crypto investors were hard hit. In an instance around mid-May, an individual investor, who lost around $2 million, trespassed Do Kwon’s condominium asking for an apology; portraying that not just one but several investors might have lost their life savings in the crash.


    While investors are losing their millions worth of savings in the crypto fallout, the cryptocurrency market continues to reel under controversies, with FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried latest in the line. SBF was arrested in the Bahamas last year and charged with eight criminal counts in the U.S. The complaint alleges that SBF orchestrated a fraud, misusing FTX’s investor’s money.


    author avatar
    Monika Asthana




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