South Korea to Seek Extradition of Fugitive Cryptocurrency Founder, Do Kwon from Montenegro


South Korea will seek the extradition of fugitive cryptocurrency entrepreneur Do Kwon, who was arrested in Montenegro and charged with fraud in the United States.


Kwon, whose full name is Kwon Do-hyung, is accused of fraud in connection with his company Terraform Lab’s catastrophic collapse last year, which wiped out over $40 billion in investor funds and rattled worldwide cryptocurrency markets.


Kwon is wanted in South Korea for violating the country’s capital markets statute, and police stated on Friday that they would pursue his extradition.


“South Korean prosecutors will take steps to repatriate Kwon Do-hyung. We are working on the process,” Kim Hee-kyung, a spokesperson for the Seoul Southern District Prosecutors’ Office, told AFP.


According to the country’s interior ministry, the 31-year-old was arrested at the Podgorica airport in Montenegro on a South Korean warrant.

Following a complaint filed by the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the US accused him with eight charges, including securities fraud and wire fraud.


Kwon allegedly travelled from South Korea to Singapore prior to the company’s crash last May.


In September, Seoul prosecutors demanded that Interpol place him on the red notice list for all 195 member countries, as well as revoke his passport.


But, concerns over his whereabouts grew after the Singapore Police Force stated that he was not in the country.


Montenegro authorities said on Thursday that Kwon had “used falsified travel documents from Costa Rica” during passport control for a flight to Dubai.

Inspection of their luggage also found travel documents from Belgium and South Korea, while Interpol checks discovered that Belgian documents were forged, Montenegro’s interior ministry added.


Many investors lost their life savings when Kwon’s Luna and Terra entered a death spiral, and South Korean authorities have opened multiple criminal probes into the crash.


South Korea’s National Police Agency said it would collaborate with the country’s prosecutors as they seek Kwon’s extradition.


“As an organisation that works closely with the Interpol, we will actively cooperate with the Seoul Southern District Prosecutors’ Office,” Jeong Beom-seok, an official from the National Police Agency, told AFP.

Kwon is accused of “orchestrating a multi-billion-dollar crypto asset securities fraud”, according to the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

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