Montenegrin Justice Minister Marko Kovac said both the US and South Korea had requested the extradition of the founder of collapsed cryptocurrency Terra, Do Kwon.
Do Kwon was arrested on 23 March at Podgorica airport. He was arrested while attempting to board a private flight to Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, using falsified travel documents from Costa Rica.
Han Chang-Joon, a senior executive at mobile payment provider Chai, was also arrested.
The following day, Montenegrin prosecutors charged both Do Kwon and Han Chang-joon with falsifying identity documents.
While inspecting the two men’s luggage, police also found falsified Belgium and South Korean passports, three laptops, and five mobile phones. A number of cryptocurrencies and evidence of fraud were allegedly found on the devices.
Kovac said the extradition process for Do Kwon and Han Chang-Joon would only commence once the two men serve their sentences in Montenegro for falsifying documents. Under Montenegrin law, they face from five months to three years in prison for the charges.
“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,” Kovac told reporters.
“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,” he continued.
A South Korean court issued an arrest warrant for the Terraform Lab company in September last year. At the time, Do Kwon had been accused by investors of committing fraud following the collapse of his company.
Kwon was charged with fraud, and of breaching South Korean capital markets law. In response, Kwon slammed the charges as “politically motivated.”
On 26 September, an Interpol red notice was issued for Kwon’s arrest over his alleged role in the collapse of the $40 billion Terra Luna (LUNC) and Terra USD (USTC) companies in May 2022.
Kwon is wanted by regulatory authorities in the US, South Korea and Singapore.
Terraform Labs was the company behind the Terra USD “stablecoin,” purportedly designed to have a relatively fixed price and pegged to a real-world commodity or currency. The coin’s value dropped from $116 dollars to less than 0.0002 dollars in May last year.
As a result, investors in the two coins lost an estimated $42 billion dollars, with some investors losing their entire life savings. South Korean authorities have opened a number of criminal probes into the price crash.
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