do kwon in front of south korea flag

South Korea cranks up pressure to extradite Terra’s Do Kwon

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South Korean prosecutors will expand cooperation with overseas legal agencies and counterparts to facilitate the arrest and extradition of Kwon Do-hyung, a South Korean national known as Do Kwon. He faces fraud charges in South Korea related to the now collapsed Terra-Luna stablecoin, a project developed by his Singapore-based Terraform Labs. 

See related article: FBI investigating the collapse of Do Kwon’s Terra-Luna, WSJ reports

Fast facts

  • Developing cooperation with overseas agencies will help efforts to return Kwon and five other Terraform employees to Korea, the Seoul Southern District Prosecutors’ Office told Forkast via text message Thursday morning. All the individuals were listed in an arrest warrant issued last September.
  • The five include Greek national Nicholas Platias, the former head of research at Terraform Labs, and the former chief executive officer of Chai Corporation, who has only been identified by his last name, Han. Chai is a South Korea-based payments processor founded by Terra co-founder Daniel Shin, or Shin Hyun-seung. 
  • The spokesperson for the prosecutors’ office declined to give further details on the status of the legal assistance with overseas counterparts.
  • Last month, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed a lawsuit against Terraform and Kwon for allegedly defrauding investors by hosting a “multi-billion dollar crypto asset securities fraud”.
  • The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Southern District of New York prosecutors have been questioning former Terraform employees on a similar basis as the SEC lawsuit, The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week. It was reported last week that the Singapore police have launched an investigation into Terraform Labs.
  • Last month, South Korean prosecutors flew to Serbia, Kwon’s last known location, to ask the local authorities for their assistance in extraditing the Terraform chief – the Seoul prosecutors’ office told Forkast that Serbian authorities agreed to cooperate.
  • Terraform Labs has previously stated that Luna cryptocurrency has never been a financial security, and touted South Korea’s investigation on Kwon and the company to be highly politicized and unfounded. Kwon, during his podcast appearance last year, said he acknowledges his responsibility in the failure of the Terra project but insisted there was no fraud involved.
  • The Seoul prosecutors’ office confirmed that it is considering to once again request an arrest warrant for Terraform co-founder Daniel Shin on accusations that include
  • fraudulently misrepresenting the Luna cryptocurrency and profiting by as much as US$100 million from selling the token before it collapsed.
  • Shin denied making such amounts of money from Luna, saying that he sold most of his Luna holdings prior to the price surge and still held a significant amount during the May collapse of the cryptocurrency. He also denied the accusations that he promoted Terra stablecoin as a payment method despite multiple warnings from authorities, where Shin claims he had never received such notices.
  • In December, a South Korean court rejected the request from prosecutors to issue an arrest warrant for Shin.
  • Shin did not respond to Forkast’s request for comment via direct message on Twitter sent Thursday morning. Kwon did not responded to Forkast’s enquiry made the same day via KakaoTalk messaging app.

See related article: South Korea prosecutors say Serbia ready to help fraud investigation into Terra’s Do Kwon

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