Interpol fugitive Do Kwon, co-founder and CEO of Terraform Labs, was trying to copy James Bond’s tricks.
Like the famous movie hero in Casino Royale, he was staying at a gorgeous seaside resort in Montenegro. And that’s not all. He used fake documents. But instead Costa Rican and Belgian passports James Bond used – to a Hawaiian driver’s license.
The problem is Kwon, a South Korean, didn’t know how to spy for the British.
Filip Adzic, Montenegro’s interior minister, announced yesterday that he was arrested at Podgorica airport for possession of false documents.
South Korean authorities have confirmed that the detainee is definitely 31-year-old Do Kwon.
They said there was a perfect match in terms of date of birth, nationality and photographic evidence. The police were awaiting a fingerprint check from the Montenegrin authorities for final identification.
Shortly thereafter, his identity was confirmed. His former assistant, Han Mo, was reportedly arrested with him.
Do Kwon was wanted by authorities in South Korea and Singapore (home of Terraform Labs) for his role in the collapse of the Terra Luna ecosystem, worth tens of billions of dollars, last May.
In February, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sued him in federal court in Manhattan, charging him with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, commodities fraud, securities fraud, and conspiracy to commit market manipulation.
Last October, South Korean prosecutors revoked the passport of Kwon, who had been missing since late 2022.
According to leaked information, he had been hiding in Serbia since then. His whereabouts were traced back to December, when Do Kwon had exchanged bitcoin from the $190,000 Luna Foundation Guard wallet for cash in Serbia.
In February, prosecutors from Seoul visited Serbia, where they asked local authorities for help in finding the wanted man. The speculation turned out to be well-founded, as Serbia shares a border with Montenegro.
Kwon’s choice of the Balkan country may have been due to the fact that it was only an independent state in 2006.
As a result, it has few extradition treaties with other nations. Moreover, South Korea does not have an embassy in Montenegro. However, an extradition treaty only facilitates the process and is not a prerequisite for it to take place.
Interestingly, as revealed by the Serbian High Technology Criminal Prosecution Service and the US Federal Prosecutor’s Office, Do Kwon and former Chai Corp CEO Han Chang-joon had established a cryptocurrency business in Serbia.
The arrest comes almost a year after the collapse of Terra. When it lost 40 billion dollars in a few days.
A pivotal point that contributed to the failure of many companies and hedge funds that had invested in Luna and the stablecoins in the ecosystem.
These events drove the price of bitcoin from $40,000 to $25,000 in just one week.