Do Kwon’s Detention in Montenegro Before Arrest as a Fugitive
Do Kwon, the co-founder of Terraform Labs, was detained in Montenegro while trying to travel to Dubai for allegedly using fake documents.
Montenegrin authorities arrested Kun at Podgorica airport and agreed to extend his detention for 30 days due to concerns about his unclear identity and possible escape. In response to this decision, Kwon’s legal representatives confirmed their intention to appeal the extension.
US regulators have accused Kwon and Terraform Labs of “orchestrating a multibillion-dollar crypto-asset securities fraud earlier this year.” South Korean authorities issued an arrest warrant for Kwon last September, believing his company had violated capital market rules.
Law enforcement sent representatives to Belgrade to negotiate when they believed he was in Serbia because the two countries did not have an extradition agreement. Kwon confirmed that he was not in hiding but did not provide an address.
Montenegro’s interior minister, Filip Adzic, confirmed Kun’s arrest on Twitter, calling him “one of the most wanted fugitives in the world” and stating that the suspect was traveling under a false name with forged documents.
Authorities said the man’s identification was pending official confirmation. The Montenegrin suspect was eventually identified as Kwon by South Korean authorities when his fingerprints matched those on file.
Kwon is accused of several crimes, including conspiracy to commit fraud and market manipulation as well as securities fraud, wire fraud and commodity fraud. US prosecutors have separately charged Kuhn with fraud, and the indictment was announced in US District Court in Manhattan.
Montenegro does not have extradition treaties with the United States or South Korea, which creates challenges for Kwon’s extradition.
The organizers are having a hard time dealing with Do Kwon
US financial regulators have accused Kwon and Singapore-based Terraform Labs of failing to provide the public with full, fair and honest disclosure of the securities of their crypto assets, notably Luna and TerraUSD.
Regulators claim that the company has repeatedly stated that the tokens will increase in value and misled investors about the stability of TerraUSD.
In May 2022, the value of Luna and its associated coin TerraUSD fell to near zero, which led to a sell-off of major cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Tether. Elliptic, a blockchain analytics firm, estimates that international investors lost $42 billion in terraUSD and Luna.
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After his arrest, local media Vejeste reported that Kwun’s legal representatives had lodged an appeal against the Montenegrin court’s decision to extend his detention beyond the standard 72 hours.
Prosecutors justified the extension by pointing to a high probability of escape. Han Chang-joon, who was detained with Kwon, asked to give his statement in his native Korean, causing hearings to be delayed while the court requested an interpreter.
Founded a Serbian company in 2022
The South Korean secretly founded a new company while hiding in Serbia as a fugitive from the law.
According to a March 27 report from DL News, Do Kwon registered a company in Belgrade on October 12, 2022, under the title “Codokoj22 doo Beograd”.
DL News claims to have obtained the information from the Serbian Business Registry.
Although people cannot search the registry by individual names, officials noted that two South Koreans named Do Kwon and Han Chang Joon appeared to be listed by the company number.
According to the document from the Serbian Business Register, Do Hyuang Kwon is the sole owner of the new company and is listed as a director along with Han Chang-Joon of Chai Corporation.
Kwon reportedly registered the new company as a “consulting service” using his Korean passport. The advisory service description is often used to cover a variety of economic activities, so there is no telling exactly what Kwon and Han’s intention is with the company.
The lawyers helped Kwon register the company
Do Kwon is the creator of terraUSD, a computational stablecoin that claims to be pegged to the US dollar, and Luna, a cryptocurrency that supports the Terra ecosystem.
However, his fortunes changed dramatically in May 2022 when both coins crashed, triggering a massive sell-off in the cryptocurrency market and wiping out billions of dollars from investors.
Since then, Kwon has been on the run from authorities in several countries, including South Korea, the United States, and Singapore, where his company is based.
He faces charges of fraud, securities violations, and conspiracy for allegedly misleading investors about the stability and profitability of his tokens.
Kwon reportedly managed to establish his new business and evade legal scrutiny while being one of the most wanted men in the world with the help of a network of lawyers.
According to official documents from the registry, one of the lawyers is Ognjen Colic, a prominent Serbian lawyer and partner at the Gecic Law Firm in Belgrade, who was contracted by Kwon to represent him.
Kulick reportedly filed the company’s registration application on behalf of the fugitive.
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