Policeman arresting Do Kwon in Montenegro

Do Kwon to stand trial over falsification of travel documents amid extradition tussle

Terraform Labs founder Do Kwon will face criminal charges in Montenegro for attempting to travel with fake documents before the country entertains requests for his extradition.

Kwon was arrested at the Podgorica Airport on March 23 while attempting to travel aboard a private jet to Dubai. Montenegrin law enforcement arrested Kwon and his business partner, Han Chang Joon, for possessing a fake Costa Rican passport.

During a press conference, Justice Minister Mark Kovac revealed that Kwon will be charged in court for breaching Montenegrin law, saying that local proceedings come before extradition claims. Kwon was remanded in jail for 72 hours, and new information indicates that the detention has been extended to 30 days.

“Extradition procedure is to be initiated in Montenegro, which will be initiated after the completion of the criminal proceedings for the offense of falsifying identification documents,” said Kovac.

Kovac confirmed that only the U.S. and South Korea have formally applied for Kwon’s extradition to face trial in their countries. He added that several factors would influence where Kwon would be extradited, including the order in which the extradition requests were filed and the severity of the offense.

Gleaning from Kovac’s statement, pundits believe that South Korea could emerge as the winner in the jostle for extradition. In February, South Korean officials traveled to Serbia to open talks for Kwon’s arrest and potential extradition, nearly a month before the U.S. took criminal action against him.

Kovac added that the public would be notified if any other country formally applies for extradition. Singapore’s national police have confirmed that they are investigating Terraform Labs and Kwon over the sudden de-pegging of algorithmic stablecoin TerraUSD (UST), but it remains unclear if the country will be seeking Kwon’s extradition.

A consultancy firm amid a global manhunt

The hunt for Kwon reached a crescendo after the South Korean Ministry of Interior nullified his passport and Interpol issued a “red notice” to member countries for his arrest.

Despite the manhunt, Kwon managed to register a business entity in Serbia with the object clause being for consultancy service. The law firm that handled the registration process and officials from the Serbian Business Registry noted that Kwon passed all the security checks.

“I cannot comment on my client due to confidentiality agreements, but I can say that this client went through all the regular security checks that we conduct for every client, including the Interpol website, and he is not there,” said Ognjen Colić, partner at Gecic.

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