Authorities in the United States and South Korea have moved to have Terra co-founder Do Kwon extradited to their respective countries following his arrest in Montenegro.
At a press conference on March 29, Montenegrin Justice Minister Marko Kovač stated that the United States had made diplomatic efforts to request Kwon’s handover, while the South Korean authorities had requested his extradition. Kovač made the announcement after Kwon’s detention at Montenegrin’s Podgorica airport on March 23, adding that the Terra co-founder’s detention had been extended to 30 days.
“In the event that we receive several extradition requests, I would like to say that determining which State they will be extradited to is based on various factors such as the seriousness of the criminal offense committed, the place and time the criminal offense has been committed, the order in which we received the extradition request and various other factors,” Kovač said through an interpreter.
Kovač said that decisions regarding Kwon’s custody will be made by the High Court of Montenegro. According to the justice minister, the Terra co-founder used allegedly forged passports during his stay in Montenegro and could serve time in the country in connection with those charges if he is found guilty before extradition is granted.
Kwon’s whereabouts had been largely unknown following Terra’s collapse in May 2022, though he was often active on his Twitter account, saying in September that he was making “zero efforts to hide.” In February, some reports suggested that Kwon may have traveled to Serbia – a European country that borders Montenegro to the north – after Interpol issued a red alert for his provisional detention.
Kwon, a South Korean national, would likely face prosecution in his home country, where Terraform Labs was headquartered and Authorities have been pursuing people involved in the platform’s collapse. At the time of publication, the whereabouts of Terra co-founder Daniel Shin were unknown, but Kwon’s partner Han Chang-Joon was also detained in Montenegro.
It is unclear which country, if any, would be most likely to obtain Kwon’s extradition. The situation parallels US attempts to gain custody of former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, who was in the Bahamas at the time of the stock’s crash.
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