South Korea is seeking the extradition of crypto entrepreneur Do Kwon, founder of Terraform, after he was arrested in Montenegro on charges of fraud by the United States. Kwon, also known as Kwon Do-hyung, is wanted in South Korea for violating the country’s capital markets act. He has been accused of fraud over his company Terraform Lab’s collapse last year, which caused a loss of about $40 billion for investors and shook global crypto markets.
Arrest in Montenegro and US fraud charges
Kwon was arrested at the Podgorica airport in Montenegro on a South Korean warrant, according to the country’s interior ministry. Shortly after, the US charged him with eight counts, including securities fraud and wire fraud, following a lawsuit by the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
Do Kwon was arrested with numerous forged documents. These included passports from Costa Rica and Belgium as well as a Hawaiian driver's license. pic.twitter.com/KSDLIGwDh4
— Coin Bureau (@coinbureau) March 24, 2023
Request for Extradition from South Korea
South Korean prosecutors have confirmed that they will seek Kwon’s extradition. Kim Hee-kyung, a spokesperson for the Seoul Southern District Prosecutors’ Office, stated that South Korean prosecutors will take steps to repatriate Kwon Do-hyung. They are working on the process. Kwon reportedly flew from South Korea to Singapore ahead of Terraform’s collapse in May last year.
Impact on Global Crypto Markets
The collapse of Terraform Lab had a significant impact on global crypto markets, raising questions about the sustainability and regulation of cryptocurrencies. The case has also highlighted the need for international cooperation and coordination in addressing fraudulent activities in the digital currency space.