End of the run for Do Kwon, founder of the cryptocurrency terra

The South Korean founder of the cryptocurrency Terra, Do Kwon, has been charged with falsifying documents and is due to appear Friday, March 24 in Montenegro before a court that will consider an extradition request. REUTERS - DADO RUVIC

Text by: RFI Follow

1 min

The South Korean, accused of "orchestrating a fraud in crypto assets and causing investors to lose several billion dollars", was arrested on Thursday in Montenegro. An extradition request was sent by Seoul to the Montenegrin authorities.


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Do Kwon – whose full name is Kwon Do-hyung – is only 31 years old and no fewer than eight charges have been brought against him by a federal jury in New York, including those for stock market fraud and online fraud. He is accused of causing investors to lose $40 billion.

In South Korea, the man is wanted for violating financial market rules. Do Kwon made it look like his Terra cryptocurrency was stable and protected against the vagaries of the market, which was not the case. By April last year, the Terra had reached its highest level. A month later, the cryptocurrency suddenly lost more than half of its value before falling to zero.

False passports

This caused panic in the cryptocurrency market, ruining small investors. In total, the losses amount to nearly 40 billion dollars (about 37 billion euros). Cryptocurrencies have come under increasing scrutiny since a series of crashes, controversies and the bankruptcy of FTX, one of their most important exchanges.

Do Kwon was arrested at the airport in Podgorica, Montenegro's capital, along with its chief financial officer, Hon Chang Joon. They were in possession of false Belgian and Costa Rican passports and wanted to flee to Dubai. Do Kwon was charged with falsifying documents. In September, South Korean prosecutors asked Interpol to issue a red notice against him in the organization's 195 member countries and cancelled his passport. Seoul will seek his extradition.


With AFP)

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Read on on the same topics:

  • South Korea
  • Cryptocurrencies
  • Montenegro
  • Justice
  • Finance