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South Korean crypto baron arrested in Montenegro

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Collage: The Gaze
Collage: The Gaze

Montenegrin police, acting on an Interpol request, have arrested the founder of Terraform Labs, Do Kwon, who is wanted in South Korea in connection with the collapse of the company's cryptocurrency worth $40 billion (€37 billion), which devastated retail investors worldwide.

The country's Minister of Internal Affairs announced this. "The Montenegrin police have arrested a person who is considered one of the most wanted fugitives, South Korean citizen Do Kwon," wrote Philip Adžić on Twitter.

The Ministry of Justice of South Korea confirmed Kwon's arrest and the arrest of another unidentified person associated with the cryptocurrency collapse, stating that they would take measures to extradite them to South Korea.

The crypto developer of Terra may be trying to evade investigation but denies hiding. Both South Korea and Montenegro have signed the European Convention on Extradition.

In September, South Korea requested Interpol to issue a "red notice" for 31-year-old Kwon among the agency's 195 member countries to locate and arrest him.

Kwon and another man had been hiding in Serbia but moved to Montenegro after South Korean investigators tracked their location and asked the Serbian authorities to detain them, the ministry reported. The men were arrested at the Podgorica airport in Montenegro while attempting to fly to Dubai using counterfeit Costa Rican passports, the ministry reported.

Montenegrin authorities accused the pair of document forgery after finding Belgian passports in their luggage. A few hours after their arrest, a US district court charged Kwon with eight counts, including two counts of securities fraud, two counts of wire fraud, and conspiracy.

Kwon and five other individuals associated with Terraform are being sought for allegations of fraud and financial crimes related to the collapse of its digital currencies in May 2022. TerraUSD was designed as a stablecoin, a type of cryptocurrency pegged to stable assets such as the US dollar to prevent price volatility.

However, approximately $40 billion (€37 billion) in market value was lost for TerraUSD and its floating subsidiary currency Luna owners after the stablecoin dropped well below its $1 level in May.

As The Gaze reported, the WhiteBIT exchange allows purchasing tickets for the qualifying match for the UEFA Euro 2024 between Ukraine and Malta with cryptocurrency. "The purchase of tickets for the Ukraine-Malta match with cryptocurrency will be a debut practice for fans. It should be noted that this option may also be available for future top matches of the Ukrainian national team against England and Italy," says WhiteBIT.



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