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South Korea Taps Interpol to Extradite Do Kwon Ahead of Retrial

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The Global Extradition Battle Over Do Kwon

  • South Korea seeks Interpol’s assistance to extradite Do Kwon following his appeal win against extradition to the U.S.
  • Kwon faces allegations of a $40 billion cryptocurrency fraud involving Terraform Labs’ stablecoin and Luna token.
  • The final decision on Kwon’s extradition destination, between South Korea and the United States, remains pending.

South Korea has enlisted Interpol’s assistance to secure his extradition. This development follows Kwon’s successful appeal against extradition from Montenegro to the United States. He faces allegations there of a $40 billion cryptocurrency fraud involving the Terra (UST) stablecoin and Luna token. Montenegro’s Appellate Court overturned a previous high court ruling that approved his extradition to the U.S. and ordered a retrial of the case.

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The International Hunt for Do Kwon: South Korea’s Involvement

South Korea’s National Police Agency is determined to bring Kwon back to face charges. They formally requested Interpol’s assistance through the organization’s Secretariat in South Korea.  Reports indicate that the Ministry of Justice’s International Criminal Division and the National Police Agency are collaborating to repatriate Kwon via international criminal cooperation channels and Interpol.

Kwon’s situation gained widespread attention when authorities located him in Montenegro with fake passports in March 2023. He left Singapore in September 2022 after South Korea issued a warrant for his arrest over violations of the nation’s capital markets law. Interpol also issued a Red Notice for Kwon.

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The Charges Against Do Kwon

The collapse of Terraform Labs sent shockwaves through the cryptocurrency market. The company promised investors that its Terra USD stablecoin and Luna tokens were safe investments. The resulting financial upheaval caused approximately $40 billion in losses and triggered a “crypto winter” within the industry.  Kwon faces civil charges from the US Securities and Exchange Commission and pending criminal charges in both the U.S. and South Korea. He remains a central figure in this significant legal and financial saga.

Kwon’s eventual extradition destination—either South Korea or the United States—remains unclear. Montenegro’s minister of justice will make the final decision. The case continues to evolve with legal proceedings underway in multiple jurisdictions. This situation underscores the complexities and international implications of cryptocurrency regulations and enforcement.

Latest Court Decision and Extradition Timeline

A Montenegrin high court recently approved Do Kwon’s extradition to South Korea, marking a significant development in the prolonged legal battle against the Terraform Labs co-founder. Kwon’s lawyer confirmed that the extradition will likely occur after March 23. Kwon was arrested in Montenegro last year while attempting to flee with falsified documents.

Kwon successfully appealed an earlier ruling that would have extradited him to the United States, where he also faces charges. Currently, he is serving a four-month sentence in Montenegro for possession of falsified documents. Upon completing this sentence on March 23, he is expected to be sent to South Korea. Kwon’s attorney, Goran Rodic, acknowledged that the decision aligns with the case’s evidence but did not indicate any plans for further appeals.

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