Do Kwon: Interpol confirms arrest of South Korean crypto fugitive in Montenegro

Seoul/Atlanta (CNN) Interpol says a man arrested in Montenegro is Kwon Do-hyeong, also known as Do Kwon, the disgraced founder of a collapsed crypto company who is wanted in South Korea and the United States on fraud and other charges.

Kwon, a South Korean citizen, founded the blockchain platform behind the TerraUSD stablecoin and its sister coin Luna. Both coins lost their value in a matter of days in May 2022, wiping around $40 billion from the crypto market and triggering panic across the speculative sector.

Kwon’s identity was confirmed through a fingerprint match, Interpol’s national central bureau in Seoul told CNN on Friday.

A day earlier, Montenegrin Interior Minister Filip Adžić wrote on social media that a man believed to be Kwon was arrested in the capital Podgorica.

“He was arrested at the airport with forged documents and is wanted by several countries, including the United States, South Korea and Singapore,” Adžić said in a Facebook post.

Kwon was based in Singapore while running blockchain platform Terraform Labs. Seoul prosecutors told CNN in December that the crypto entrepreneur is believed to be in Serbia, where he was hiding after leaving Singapore via Dubai.

In September, a South Korean court issued an arrest warrant for Kwon, after he was accused of defrauding investors in the country in the wake of the collapse of his company.

Kwon is charged with fraud and violating South Korea’s capital market law. He said in October that he did not believe the allegations were legitimate, claiming they were “politically motivated”.

The crypto developer has repeatedly claimed on Twitter that he was not “on the run” but refused to disclose his whereabouts due to concerns for his personal safety.

Terraform Labs was behind TerraUSD, a stablecoin that was theoretically supposed to maintain a price point of $1.

The collapse of TerraUSD and Luna, two linked coins, started the so-called “crypto winter”, from which the industry struggled to recover, although it suffered another major blow from the fall of the crypto exchange FTX in November.

— CNN’s Jake Kwon contributed reporting

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