Terraform Labs founder Do Kwon to be extradited from Montenegro

The crypto entrepreneur is being sought by the US and South Korea on fraud charges

Do Kwon, co-founder and chief executive officer of Terraform Labs, was arrested in Montenegro in March this year. EPA
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Montenegro’s high court approved the extradition of crypto entrepreneur Do Kwon, who is sought by the US and South Korea on fraud charges.

The Justice Minister will make the final decision on which country to extradite Mr Kwon to, the court said on its website on Friday. A phone call to the Justice Ministry went unanswered.

In an interview on Thursday with TV Vijesti, Justice Minister Andrej Milovic declined to disclose where he plans to send Mr Kwon. He did, however, give a hint about his intentions.

“The US is our chief foreign policy partner, we want to sign a bilateral agreement on extradition as soon as possible so we can have a legal framework for future extraditions,” he told the television station.

The Terraform Labs co-founder and the company's former chief financial officer Han Chang-joon were caught at the airport in Montenegro’s capital Podgorica in March when they tried to board a private jet to fly to Dubai after spending months as fugitives.

They were sentenced to four months in prison for travelling with forged documents. Both pleaded not guilty.

Mr Kwon has been charged by US prosecutors with orchestrating a years-long cryptocurrency fraud that wiped out at least $40 billion in market value following the implosion in May 2022 of TerraUSD, an algorithmic stablecoin.

He faces similar charges in South Korea.

The collapse of TerraUSD and its sister token Luna accelerated a broader $2 trillion downturn in the crypto market.

Officials in South Korea have said the Terra project Mr Kwon helped to create was a “fabrication” from its inception as the algorithm that helped keep TerraUSD at a stable price was impossible to get right.

Updated: November 25, 2023, 4:00 AM