Do Kwon, the founder of Terraform Labs, has reportedly been arrested in Montenegro, according to a local government official.
On Thursday morning, Filip Adzic, the minister of interior of Montenegro, tweeted in Bosnian that Kwon was arrested at the airport in Podgorica, the capital of Montenegro, with falsified documents. Adzic added that they were waiting for official confirmation of Kwon’s identity.
The interior ministry of Montenegro did not immediately respond to an email seeking confirmation. Its phone number was unreachable. Interpol’s website did not have any update about Kwon’s arrest. Interpol did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
It appears though that the person arrested was indeed Kwon. The Korean news agency, Yonhap, quoted a National Police Agency official as saying: “We checked the age, nationality, and name with the identification card the person had, and confirmed that he was the same person as CEO Kwon with photo data.”
Kwon has been under investigation for the past 11 months since the Terra/LUNA collapse, which wiped out about $40 billion from the cryptocurrency market.
In mid-September, Kwon tweeted, “I am not ‘on the run’ or anything similar – for any government agency that has shown interest to communicate, we are in full cooperation and we don’t have anything to hide.”
“We are in the process of defending ourselves in multiple jurisdictions – we have held ourselves to an extremely high bar of integrity, and look forward to clarifying the truth over the next few months,” he said at the time.
While Kwon declined claims he wasn’t hiding from authorities, prosecutors have refuted those claims.
In late September, his whereabouts were unknown and Interpol issued a red notice requesting law enforcement agencies worldwide search for and arrest him. Shortly after, the South Korean government ordered Kwon to surrender his passport or risk it getting revoked.
Do Kwon has said that charges leveled against him by the South Korean prosecutors are not legitimate and are politically motivated, TechCrunch previously reported.
“Every sovereign nation can interpret the red notice the way it sees fit,” he told journalist Laura Shin on her podcast Unchained in mid-October. At the time, he said he plans to address, appeal and do everything to get to a “better result.”
Fast-forward to February, prosecutors in South Korea traveled to Serbia, suspecting that was where Kwon was staying. In mid-February, The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged Terraform Labs and Kwon with defrauding U.S. investors who purchased its crypto assets, LUNA and the not-so-stable stablecoin, Terra.