Samir KajosevicPodgoricaBIRNMarch 29, 202314:36Justice Minister Marko Kovac says the US and South Korea both seek the extradition of the fugitive founder of the collapsed cryptocurrency Terra, Do Kwon – which will only be considered when he has served his sentence in Montenegro.

US, South Korea, Both Seek Crypto Fraudster’s Extradition From Montenegro

Police officers escort South Korean crypto mogul Do Kwon (R) in Podgorica, Montenegro. Photo: EPA-EFE/BORIS PEJOVIC

Montenegrin Justice Minister Marko Kovac said on Wednesday that the US and South Korea have both asked for the extradition of the fugitive founder of the collapsed cryptocurrency Terra, Do Kwon.

On March 23, Do Kwon and Han Chang-Joon, a senior executive at Chai a mobile payment provider, were arrested at Podgorica airport trying to board a private flight to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates with falsified travel documents from Costa Rica. The Montenegrin prosecution the next day charged Do Kwon and Han Chang-joon with falsifying their ID.

During the inspection of luggage, police also found falsified Belgium and South Korean passports and three laptops and five mobile phones. Reportedly, cryptocurrencies and potential evidence of fraud could be on those devices.

Kovac said the extradition process would only be initiated after Do Kwon and Han Chang-Joon serve their sentences in Montenegro for falsifying documents. Montenegrin law stipulates five month to three years in prison for falsifying documents.

“So far, South Korea and the US have requested extradition, but we also expect Singapore to send a request, as criminal proceedings have been initiated there. Montenegrin authorities will decide which country to extradite them to according to the committed crime, the place where it was committed and their citizenship. It’s too early to say,” Kovac told a press conference.

In September last year, a South Korean court issued an arrest warrant for the founder of Terraform Lab company after he was accused of fraud by investors in the wake of the collapse of his company.

Kwon was charged with fraud and breaches of South Korea’s capital markets law. Kwon claimed the charges were “politically motivated.”

On September 26, an Interpol red notice was issued for his arrest for his alleged role in the collapse of the $40 billion Terra Luna (LUNC) and Terra USD (USTC) ecosystem in May 2022. He is wanted by regulatory authorities in South Korea, Singapore and the US.

Terraform Labs was behind the Terra USD “stablecoin”, which was designed to have a relatively fixed price and are usually pegged to a real-world commodity or currency. Terra’s value collapsed last May from $116 dollars to less than 0.0002 dollars.

Globally, investors in the two coins lost an estimated $42 billion dollars, according to blockchain analytics firm Elliptic. Some investors lost their entire life savings, and South Korean authorities have opened several criminal probes into the crash.

Last October, after Interpol issued a red warrant, Do Kwon registered a company called “Codokoj22 d.o.o. Beograd” in the Serbian capital, Belgrade. DL News reported that the Serbian company was registered with the main activity of “consultancy services”, which is widely used for a “general coverage” of business.

It also reported that the company was established with 100 Serbian dinars in capital, which is worth less than one euro. Do Kwon and Han Chang Joon used Korean passports while registering a company with the Serbian Business Registry. The company is still active.

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