Report: South Korean Prosecutors Believe Do Kwon to Be Hiding In Serbia
After seven months of law enforcement and Interpol attempting to locate the disgraced Terraform Labs CEO.
“I am not ‘on the run’ or anything similar,” Terraform Labs co-founder Do Kwon tweeted back in September following the issuance of an arrest warrant by a South Korean court.
I am not “on the run” or anything similar – for any government agency that has shown interest to communicate, we are in full cooperation and we don’t have anything to hide
— Do Kwon ? (@stablekwon) September 17, 2022
For someone who “isn’t on the run,” Kwon, whose whereabouts over the last seven months have been unknown, is wanted by both Interpol and South Korean authorities.
Earlier this month, a report from Chosun Media revealed that South Korean authorities believe the 31-year-old CEO is somewhere in Serbia after leaving Singapore in September.
Kwon, who founded Terraform Labs in 2018, touted having created a “modern financial system” where users could transact financially without relying upon banks or other middlemen.
Terraform Labs, responsible for having created the now defunct Terra ecosystem, raised more than $200 million USD between 2018 and 2021 from investment firms including Lightspeed Venture Partners, Galaxy Digital, Arrington Capital, and Coinbase Ventures to fund crypto projects built with the native currency – Luna and TerraUSD.
While Luna had its start in 2018, TerraUSD was born in 2020 as a stablecoin that derived its value from algorithms linked to Luna’s value – rather than being pegged to the U.S. dollar.
Ultimately, falling crypto prices and market speculation in early May helped facilitate the eventual depegging of TerraUSD and USTC, which led to Luna’s complete loss of value and kickstarted the long crypto winter and a $40 billion USD crash we’ve all been navigating through ever since.
Prior to the collapse of Terra’s entire ecosystem, Kwon reportedly moved to Singapore and was believed to be there until now.
South Korean prosecutors became aware of Kwon’s presence in Serbia in November, according to CNN Business, and have been tracking him since.
Since Terra’s collapse in May, South Korean authorities have been persistent in trying to locate Kwon since the Seoul Southern District Prosecutor’s Office’s Financial and Securities Criminal Unit issued an arrest warrant against him for allegedly violating South Korean capital markets laws.
After that, Interpol reportedly issued a “Red Notice” against Kwon on September 26, followed by an order from South Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in October for him to surrender his passport.
Kwon took to Twitter in response, arguing that the charges and allegations were “politically motivated.”
Currently, South Korea is a signatory to a bilateral extradition treaty with 31 countries, however, Serbia is not one of them.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen testified before Congress in May, calling for urgent legislation to regulate stablecoins.
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