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 for fraud and other charges.
Kwon, a South Korean national, founded the blockchain platform behind the stablecoin TerraUSD and its sister coin Luna. Both coins lost value in a matter of days in May 2022, wiping around $40 billion from the crypto market and causing panic in the speculative sector.
Kwon’s identity was confirmed by a fingerprint match, Interpol’s National Central Bureau in Seoul told CNN on Friday.
The day before, the Montenegrin Minister of Internal Affairs, Filip Adžić, had written on social networks that a man suspected of being Kwon had been 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 statement. 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 a arrest warrant for Kwon, after being accused of fraud by investors in the country following the collapse of his business.
Kwon was charged with fraud and violations of South Korean capital markets law. He said in October that he did not believe the charges were legitimate and claimed they were “politically motivated”.
The crypto developer has repeatedly claimed on Twitter that he was not “on the run”, but that he had refused to reveal his whereabouts out of fear for his personal safety.
Terraform Labs was behind TerraUSD, a stablecoin that, in theory, was supposed to hold a price of $1.
The collapse of related coins TerraUSD and Luna sparked the so-called “crypto winter,” which the industry struggled to recover from even as it experienced another huge blow since the fall of crypto exchange FTX in November.
– CNN’s Jake Kwon contributed reporting