S. Korean prosecutors seek Do Kwon’s extradition after Montenegro airport arrest

S. Korean prosecutors seek Do Kwon’s extradition after Montenegro airport arrest
via leetjunction (left), CoinDesk (right)

South Korean police reportedly confirmed Do Kwon’s fingerprints after his arrest at an airport in Montenegro’s capital Podgorica on Thursday

March 24, 2023
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South Korean prosecutors are working with Montenegro authorities to extradite Do Kwon to South Korea, but the United States is also chasing after the crypto fugitive.
Kwon, whose real name is Kwon Do-hyung, was arrested at Podgorica Airport in Montenegro on Thursday after he and one of his close aides, surnamed Han, tried to travel to Dubai with a forged passport.
Kwon’s arrest was later confirmed on Twitter and Facebook by Filip Adzic, Montenegro’s interior minister, announcing that authorities had detained “one of the world’s most wanted fugitives.”
View post on Twitter
Although Adzic said they were still awaiting confirmation from local authorities, South Korean police identified the man detained at the airport as Kwon after analyzing his fingerprints.
Following the confirmation, prosecutors started the extradition process for Kwon to South Korea, where he faces charges related to fraud and breaches of South Korea’s capital markets law.
South Korean prosecutors will take steps to repatriate Kwon Do-hyung. We are working on the process,” Kim Hee-kyung, a spokesperson for the Seoul Southern District Prosecutors’ Office, told AFP.
It is unclear if the Southern European country will agree to the request, as the Montenegro police reportedly filed a criminal complaint against the disgraced cryptocurrency co-founder for the forged documents, local authorities announced.
The United States is also seeking extradition for Kwon, who is facing securities fraud, wire fraud, commodities fraud and conspiracy charges in the country.
In a statement on Feb. 16, the Securities and Exchange Commission accused Kwon of “orchestrating a multi-billion-dollar crypto asset securities fraud.”
SEC Chair Gary Gensler said in the statement that Kwon and his Singapore-based company, Terraform Labs, both “failed to provide the public with full, fair, and truthful disclosure as required for a host of crypto asset securities, most notably for LUNA and Terra USD.”
According to a court official, Kwon is expected to face the Higher Court in Podgorica, Montenegro, on Friday for his charges, where the extradition requests will also be heard, AFP reported.
Neither South Korea nor the U.S. have an extradition treaty with Montenegro. However, South Korea has joined the European Convention on Extradition, a multilateral treaty that allows for extradition of individuals wanted for criminal proceedings between member states, of which Montenegro is a member as part of the Council of Europe, reported Yonhap News Agency, citing the justice ministry.
South Korean prosecutors confirmed in February that a delegation had been sent to Serbia to follow up on a lead claiming that Kwon was last spotted in the Balkan nation as far back as December 2022.
Kwon became a wanted man in 195 countries after Interpol issued a red notice on the defunct entrepreneur in late September 2022.
South Korean prosecutors accused him of being on the run after his cryptocurrency Luna, the sister coin of Terra USD, crashed from its $116 high to less than $0.0002 in April 2022. The financial loss from the crash was estimated to be around $42 billion the following month.

 
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      Bryan Ke

      Bryan Ke is a Reporter for NextShark

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