Do Kwon's Millions Are Not in South Korea, Prosecutors Say: Report

South Korea has requested the extradition of the Terraform Labs CEO after his recent arrest in Montenegro.

AccessTimeIconApr 7, 2023 at 11:16 a.m. UTC
Updated Apr 11, 2023 at 7:08 a.m. UTC

Do Kwon, founder of collapsed crypto issuer Terraform Labs, has no discernible property in South Korea, prosecutors in the country have said, according to local broadcaster KBS.

The South Korean national was arrested in Montenegro last month as he was attempting to travel with falsified documents. Both South Korea and the U.S. has requested his extradition, with Kwon facing criminal charges in both nations.

Prosecutors in South Korea – who confirmed the broadcaster's report to Forkast – estimate nine executives made a total of 414.5 billion won (US$315 million) from the enterprise. Of that, prosecutors found "almost none" of the 91.4 billion won belonging to Kwon in South Korea, according to the report.

Some 154 billion won are suspected to be in Terra co-founder Daniel Shin's possession. Prosecutors have twice tried and failed to obtain an arrest warrant for Shin.

Korea Times reported earlier this week that prosecutors' inability to obtain an arrest warrant for Shin may complicate the country's chances of processing Kwon's extradition from Montenegro.

Prosecutors also reportedly said they had asked Binance to block the withdrawal of crypto associated with Kwon.

“We provided Korean LE [law enforcement] authorities with the requested assistance. Since we cannot comment on ongoing LE investigations, for any further comment please reach out to the prosecutors,” a spokesperson for Binance said in an emailed statement to CoinDesk following the publication of this article.

Update (April 11, 2023 07:09 UTC): Adds comment from Binance in the last paragraph.


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Sandali Handagama

Sandali Handagama is CoinDesk's deputy managing editor for policy and regulations, EMEA. She does not own any crypto.