Do Kwon, currently one of the world’s most wanted fugitives and a former digital asset kingpin, has been arrested in Montenegro while trying to board a flight to Dubai. The police in the European country arrested Kwon and shortly afterwards the South Korean police confirmed his identity.
Collapse of Terra causes great loss
Do Kwon is the founder of Terraform Labs, the company behind the Terra ecosystem and its two tokens, LUNA and the UST stablecoin. Last May, the spectacular collapse of these two tokens led to a $40 billion loss for investors and a broader market capitulation. Though he has denied it, Kwon has since gone on the run from authorities in South Korea, Singapore, Europe and the US.
Nearly a year after the Terra collapse, Kwon has now been arrested in Montenegro, with Interior Minister Filip Adzic announcing the arrest for the first time. Twitter announced. The message stated the following:
Montenegrin police have detained a person suspected of being one of the most wanted fugitives, South Korean citizen Do Kwon, co-founder and CEO of Singapore-based Terraform Labs. The person is suspected of being one of the most wanted fugitives.
Do Kwon and another suspect were arrested at Podgorica airport as they tried to board a flight to Dubai. According to the minister, they were both in possession of forged Costa Rican and Belgian passports.
Following the arrest, the South Korean National Police confirmed that Do Kwon was indeed the person arrested, based on his age, name and nationality as stated on his ID card. In addition, the Korean police checked his fingerprints and they matched their records. An official of the Korean National Police said the following:
This news has also been shared with the South District of Seoul and Interpol in Montenegro.
Charges against Do Kwon revealed to him
After Do Kwon’s arrest was confirmed, the United States Department of Justice (DoJ) revealed charges against him. U.S. attorney Damian Williams has filed eight charges against Kwon in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.
Kwon faces 2 counts each for wire fraud, securities fraud, commodities fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud.
As for the conspiracy to commit fraud, Williams testified on the indictment that Kwon made false and misleading statements during a TV interview about LUNA, UST, and the adoption of the Terra blockchain. This interview was broadcast worldwide, including to investors in the Southern District of New York. Terraform Labs’ social media accounts have additionally amplified these misleading statements to millions of investors worldwide.
Furthermore, Kwon allegedly contacted a trading firm in New York to “get their help in changing the market price of UST.” He compensated this firm by adjusting his existing loan with Terraform Labs.
Reportedly, the DoJ would prefer Do Kwon be extradited to the United States to face charges in that country. However, it is not yet known whether that will actually happen or not, because the authorities of Montenegro are reportedly also considering filing charges against Do Kwon. It remains to be seen what exactly the next steps will be.