Current and former employees of Terraform Labs (TFL), the core developers of the Terra blockchain, have been barred from leaving South Korea by the government. The move is to ensure they are available for the ongoing investigation of the crash of the blockchain’s LUNA and UST tokens.
According to a report from local news outlet JTBC, the security crime team imposed the ban from the Seoul Southern District Prosecutor’s Office, which is leading the investigation. The injunction is targeted at key members of the company’s staff, although their exact number is unknown.
According to the prosecutor’s office, the investigation process could include a search and seizure, as well as employee summons. The directive has been confirmed by Daniel Hong, a former employee of TFL.
Hong shared a screenshot of a government notice barring him from leaving the country via Twitter. He criticized the move, noting that it was likely to discourage the employees concerned from cooperating with the investigations.
none of us were notified of this at all; when i found out about this, the south korean prosecution told me they usually don't notify people of this because they might destroy evidence and/or leave the country beforehand
— Daniel Hong 🪄 (@unifiedh) June 20, 2022
Meanwhile, the report also notes that TFL’s CEO Do Kwon, who is currently living in Singapore, is also a target of the government. The government allegedly has plans to summon Kwon to South Korea as the country does not have extradition agreements with Singapore.
The South Korean government is hard on the heels of Terra
South Korea’s investigation into the collapse of Terra’s algorithmic stablecoin UST has been going on in full steam since May. Prosecutors previously issued subpoenas to TFL employees to report for questioning and turn in relevant company materials and documents.
At the time, reports claimed that the prosecutors had gotten statements from a senior employee that TFL staff had warned Kwon about launching UST as the in-house prototype of the stablecoin failed.
Besides investigating entities and individuals related to Terra, the Korean government is also accelerating its digital currency regulations efforts. Under the directive of the president-elect Yoon Suk-yeol, the parliament is hard at work to introducing its Digital Assets Basic Act (DABA) by 2023.
South Korean government has set up an interim committee to have oversight powers over the digital currency market and exchanges until the DABA bill is ready. This committee will unify the operations of all government departments that have any connection to regulating digital assets.
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