Breaking: Montenegro arrests Terraform Labs co-founder Do Kwon

By: Henry Felix

Breaking: Montenegro arrests Terraform Labs co-founder Do Kwon

March 24, 2023 6:00 AM

Interpol has issued an arrest warrant for the former blockchain CEO in connection with the $40 billion collapse of the Terra ecosystem in May 2022.

According to a tweet from Montenegro's interior minister, Filip Adzic, on March 23, a guy suspected of being Terra co-founder Do Kwon was apprehended on the Balkan country's territory. Since the declaration, local news site Vijesti has established that the Twitter account used to make the announcement is from Montenegro's interior minister and that the person apprehended was a South Korean national.

The same day, South Korean local news agency Yonhap News Agency said that officials established the arrested man was the same person as Terraform Labs' CEO, Do Kwon, based on "photo data" and the name, nationality, and age of an identification card.

Han Mo, the former blockchain executive's aide, was reportedly arrested with him in Podgorica. The National Police Agency of South Korea, on the other hand, indicated that it was still waiting for "fingerprint information" from Montenegro authorities to completely confirm that the arrested persons were indeed Kwon and Mo. Kwon's passports were previously revoked by South Korean prosecutors in October 2022.

"Montenegrin police have apprehended Do Kwon, co-founder and CEO of Singapore-based Terraform Laboratories, who is suspected of being one of the most sought fugitives."

According to Adzic, a man suspected of being the former "cryptocurrency king" was held at the Podgorica airport with "falsified documents," and authorities are awaiting official identification. Montenegro is located south of Serbia and shares borders with it. Since December 2022, South Korean authorities have claimed that Kwon has been hiding in Serbia, where there is no extradition treaty with South Korea.

On September 26, 2022, an Interpol red notice was issued for Kwon's arrest for his suspected role in the May 2022 collapse of the $40 billion Luna Classic (LUNC) and TerraUSD (USTC) ecosystem. Regulatory officials in South Korea, Singapore, and the United States are also looking for him.

According to reports, Montenegro does not have an extradition treaty with either Singapore or South Korea. It does, however, have an old extradition treaty with the US and has previously agreed with extradition requests for US people. In addition, the government talks with Interpol about extradition issues. Kwon has previously spent significant time in the United States, although it is unclear whether he is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, or whether he committed illegal activities against U.S. persons, for future extradition procedures.

Kwon was accused with "orchestrating a multi-billion dollar crypto asset securities scheme involving an algorithmic stablecoin and other crypto asset securities" by the US Securities and Exchange Commission on February 16, 2023. Since March, the US Department of Justice has been investigating Kwon's role in the Terra ecosystem's demise. Yet, no criminal charges have been filed against Kwon within the United States.