Do Kwon Extradition Sought by U.S., South Korea, Montenegro Justice Minister Says

Marko Kovac said the Terraform Lab founder's extradition proceedings would follow a criminal proceeding for ID document forgery.

AccessTimeIconMar 29, 2023 at 11:53 a.m. UTC
Updated Mar 29, 2023 at 5:14 p.m. UTC
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The extradition of TerraForm Labs founder Do Kwon from Montenegro has been requested by both the U.S. and South Korea, Justice Minister Marko Kovac said at a press conference on Wednesday.

Kwon was arrested at the airport in Montenegro's capital city of Podgorica last week. Extradition proceedings will take place only after a separate case for forgery of identification documents, Kovac said.

“Primacy is given to the court proceedings led in Montenegro,” Kovac said, speaking through an interpreter. “If they are convicted for the criminal offense of falsifying identification documents, only after they served their prison sentence is it expected that they will be extradited.”

Kovac said he had received no official extradition request from Singapore, though he was aware of media reports of proceedings there. Terraforms is incorporated in Singapore.

Kwon and his business associate Han Chang Joon – arrested alongside Kwon – are the subjects of an international warrant issued by South Korea following the collapse of the terraUSD (UST) stablecoin last year that sent shock waves through crypto markets. Kovac said he wasn’t aware how or why they arrived in Montenegro.

Kwon is a South Korean citizen, and the U.S. claims jurisdiction because the Securities and Exchange Commission says investors in the U.S. were the subject of fraud by Kwon and his firm.

Given suspicions that they might hold cryptocurrency or other potential evidence, the U.S. and South Korea have also asked for Kwon’s laptops and other devices, Kovac added.

Edited by Sheldon Reback.

UPDATE (March 29, 11:58 UTC): Adds quote in third paragraph.

UPDATE (March 29, 13:08 UTC): Adds extra details in fourth paragraph onwards.


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Jack Schickler

Jack Schickler was a CoinDesk reporter focused on crypto regulations, based in Brussels, Belgium. He doesn’t own any crypto.

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