Kwon Do-hyung, who is wanted on international fraud charges related to the collapse of the Terra-Luna cryptocurrency project, will be held in Montenegro for a month on charges of using forged travel documents, South Korea’s Yonhap News reported, citing an interview with local prosecutor Haris Shabotich on Monday. The Terra-Luna co-founder, known as Do Kwon, faces fraud charges in his native South Korea and the U.S. and both want him extradited.
- Montenegro police arrested Kwon on Thursday and prosecutors are investigating him for traveling on allegedly forged travel documents and he will be held for 30 days, Shabotich said, according to Yonhap.
- Montenegro normally allows the detention of a suspect for up to 72 hours, but a local court has approved the prosecutors’ request to extend custody to 30 days, according to the report.
- Kwon and Han Chang-joon, Terraform Labs’ chief financial officer, were detained on Thursday at Podgorica airport in Montenegro. They were reportedly planning to board a plane to Dubai using allegedly fake Costa Rican passports. The two South Korean nationals were also reportedly holding Belgian and South Korean travel documents.
- The two deny using fake passports and insist their travel documents are valid, Kwon’s lawyer told Bloomberg on Saturday.
- The US$40 billion Terra-Luna stablecoin and crypto project collapsed in May last year and Kwon is wanted in South Korea on charges including fraud and capital markets law violations. New York prosecutors are also looking to extradite Kwon on charges including securities, commodities and wire fraud.
- Do Kwon left his home in Singapore late last year after Interpol issued a “red notice’’ for his apprehension at the request of South Korea. Kwon has denied all the charges against him. Terraform Labs has stated that South Korea’s investigation of Terra-Luna has become highly politicized and claims the accusations are baseless.
- South Korean prosecutors have repeatedly questioned the other Terraform Labs co-founder Shin Hyun-seung, also known as Daniel Shin. But a court in Seoul in December rejected a request for an arrest warrant for Shin, saying he was cooperating with the investigation and wasn’t a flight risk.