The Do Kwon Case: Crypto King Remains Behind Bars

In May 2022, stablecoin Terra collapsed, leaving many crypto investors in sheer panic. And as it usually goes, the main contributor to the Terra empire’s fall was Do Kwon, the founder of Terraform Labs, the company behind Terra.
Soon after the collapse, this South Korean “crypto king” was accused of violation of the capital market rules along with his close associates. However, accusations and arrest warrants issued by South Korean and US authorities meant nothing to the people affected, as the man had fallen off the face of the earth and been on the run for almost a year after the Terra collapse. That is until he stumbled upon Montenegrin authorities.
Fast forward to now, he and his business partner are in Montenegro, serving a sentence for trying to flee the country using forged documents.

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Do Kwon's Trial

Illustration: Lenka T.

Do Kwon’s Arrest

In late March 2023, Montenegrin authorities arrested a man suspected to be a crypto fugitive, Do Kwon, the co-founder and CEO of Terra. He and his traveling companion, who was later confirmed to be this business partner, Hon Chang Joon, were detained by the Montenegrin police at Podgorica airport just as they were trying to board a plane from Podgorica to Dubai. They were arrested mainly due to forged documents, specifically the Belgian and Costa Rican passports these two individuals were carrying.

It didn’t take long for the police to confirm that the suspects were involved with things much more sinister than document forgery. Montenegrin authorities had, in fact, detained one of the most wanted crypto fugitives responsible for multi-billion losses and the collapse of one of the most popular and trusted stablecoins on the market.

However, Do Kwon and Hon Chang Joon didn’t spend too much time in prison because the court agreed to grant them release on bail. Of course, that wasn’t cheap. The court approved Do Kwon’s bail request of 400,00 euros, and they were released into house arrest in May. 

That will all change now, as both men are sentenced to spend four months in prison.

Do Kwon’s Faith

Despite denying that the documents confiscated during the arrest were forged, the court in Montenegro sentenced both Kwon and his business partner to found months in prison.

“I traveled all over the world with a Costa Rican passport,” Do Kwon responded to these accusations, according to Segye Ilbo.

Not only that, but Kwon also tried to cover for his business partner, urging the court to drop charges. However, his efforts were in vain. The court in Montenegro announced that both men were found guilty and were looking at a prison sentence of four months each. Furthermore, their punishment will include the time spent in custody from 3/23/2023 to 6/15/2023, which automatically reduces the amount of time they’ll spend in jail.

Do Kwon

Source: Google

Keep in mind that the South Korean government issued a red notice for Do Kwon last year. The US is also seeking the extradition of this crypto fugitive. All things considered, I wouldn’t want to be in his shoes.

Still, Montenegro has no extradition treaties with the US and South Korea. As a result, these countries won’t get their hands on Do Kwon, at least not until his sentence ends.

Jelena is a content writer dedicated to learning about all things crypto. Her hobbies are playing chess, drawing, baking, and going on long walks. During winter, she usually spends her leisure time reading books.