Terra Founder Do Kwon's Passport 'Invalidated,' S. Korea Says

Do Kwon has 14 days to return his passport, according to a notice on a government website.

AccessTimeIconOct 6, 2022 at 1:46 a.m. UTC
Updated Oct 6, 2022 at 4:58 p.m. UTC

The South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs posted a public notice on its website Wednesday announcing it would invalidate Terra creator Do Kwon's passport, advancing a move the government first said it was considering last month.

The government said the notice was being posted publicly due to an "inability to deliver" the passport return order. An attached PDF document added further detail, saying the move means Kwon might be rejected if he tries to apply for the reissuance of his passport.

"Our Department would like to send a 'Notice of Order for Return of Passport' to you by registered mail," the notice said. "... we inform you that the validity of your passports will be invalidated and administratively invalidated."

Normally the invalidation of a passport would mean Kwon can no longer leave South Korea. If he is not currently in South Korea, he would likely find it difficult to travel elsewhere. Officials gave Kwon 14 days from the notice's issuance to return the passport.

The news comes shortly after South Korean prosecutors told local media outlets that they had ordered the freezing of nearly $40 million worth of crypto assets they said were tied to Kwon.

He continued a recent trend of tweeting statements at odds with what Korean officials have said. He said he could not find an Interpol "Red Notice" on the intergovernmental police agency's public website after prosecutors told reporters one had been issued and denied claims that he was "on the run," despite an outstanding arrest warrant from South Korea and statements from officials in Singapore saying they could not locate him.

Terraform Labs, the Terra ecosystem token issuer, previously said in a statement that the arrest warrant was beyond the scope of prosecutors' authority, calling the investigation "highly politicized" and claiming it violated basic rights.

Terra, Kwon's brainchild, collapsed dramatically in May of this year, shedding close to $20 billion over the course of days.

Neither Kwon nor Terra immediately returned requests for comment.

UPDATE (Oct. 6, 2022, 01:20 UTC): Corrects that $40 million were frozen, not $40 billion.


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

CoinDesk - Unknown

Nikhilesh De is CoinDesk's managing editor for global policy and regulation. He owns marginal amounts of bitcoin and ether.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.