The once-famed and now notorious crypto founder Do Kwon’s “totally unprompted” world tour now has him holed up in Serbia, according to reports citing the South Korean prosecutor’s office tasked with arresting the 31-year-old.
The Korean news outlet Yonhap wrote early Monday local time that the Seoul Southern District Prosecutors Office confirmed their most recent intelligence has Kwon in the country, even though officials have previously revoked his passport. Back in September, prosecutors alleged Kwon had abused the country’s capital markets law and put out a warrant for his arrest. Last month, the Korean Broadcasting System quoted prosecutors who alleged Kwon had told an employee to artificially manipulate the price of his Luna coin.
Before Serbia, reports from the prosecutor’s office suggested Kwon had left Singapore, where his company is currently based, and flew over to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. Then in November, reports hinted that Kwon was somewhere in Europe. At that time, a Terraform Labs spokesperson claimed to Gizmodo that the South Korean prosecutors’ accusations were baseless and further tried to say that the Capital Markets Act did not include cryptocurrencies. The crypto founder has previously called this manhunt “politically motivated” and reiterated that the charges regarding the CMA are not “legitimate.”
In May, Kwon’s company Terraform Labs failed to stop their Terra algorithmically stabilized stablecoin, a cryptocurrency pegged to the price of the U.S. dollar, from becoming unpegged. This set up a cascading failure that utterly decimated the price of Terraform’s Terra and Luna coins, and wiped out neary $60 billion from investors. This wipeout sunk the entire crypto economy and sent the entire digital currency realm into an ongoing “crypto winter.”
But those claims of innocence hasn’t stopped Kwon from running for the hills to avoid arrest. South Korea then asked the international crime fighting agency Interpol to issue a red notice. That red notice is essentially a request put out to all law enforcement agencies all over the world to arrest a fugitive and help extradite them to the country where they’ve been charged. Earlier this month, a judge rescinded an arrest warrant for Daniel Shin, Terraform Labs other major co-founder.
In the time while Kwon has worked to avoid arrest, Kwon has tried to relitigate what happened with his Terra/Luna crypto ecosystem. He continued to call his old Terra stablecoin system “transparent and open source” and further claimed he simply failed to understand and communicate its risks. He also wrote about supposed “rumors” he helped cause the terra coin to become depegged. Though statements about market manipulation could be key to Kwon’s trial, should police ever get a hold of him.
Meanwhile, federal prosecutors in the U.S. are also investigating supposed links between the more-recent collapse of Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto enterprises FTX and Alameda Research, according to unnamed sources cited by The New York Times. Specifically, The Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s office is reportedly examining whether Bankman-Fried tried to artificially manipulate the prices of Terra and Luna, which may have also caused its undoing. That investigation is still in its very early stages, according to the Times’ report.