South Korean authorities say Terraform Labs co-founder Do Kwon is hiding in Serbia after taking refuge in Singapore. According to a report from Chosun Media, law enforcement agents traced Kwon’s movement to Serbia in a manhunt spanning nearly six months.
“Recently, we obtained intelligence that CEO Kwon was in Serbia, and it was found to be true,” a government official said.
Chosun Media reports that South Korean authorities have opened communication with the Serbian government requesting cooperation for Kwon’s arrest. It remains unclear why Kwon chose Serbia, but authorities are not ruling out the possibility that the embattled founder has a “special helper” in the country.
Serbia and South Korea do not have an existing bilateral extradition treaty which might pose a legal problem for all parties. However, there is a broader multilateral extradition treaty that South Korea has with the Council of Europe, a coalition that Serbia is a member.
South Korean investigators had previously tracked Kwon to Singapore, but Singaporean authorities denied all claims that he was in their jurisdiction. It was alleged that Kwon had escaped from Singapore, making a brief stop in Dubai before disappearing into thin air.
The International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) issued a ‘red notice’ for Kwon’s arrest in September, asking member countries to “locate and provisionally arrest” him. Interpol’s decision follows the decision of South Korea’s Ministry of Interior to void Kwon’s passport after failing to honor multiple invitations by security agencies.
Going after principal members
South Korean authorities are going after the principal members of Terraform Labs with renewed vigor, wielding charges of fraud and misrepresentation against them.
Investigators applied for arrest warrants for Terraform Labs co-founder Daniel Shin and six others, but the court turned down their applications, given the cooperation with authorities. Investigators confirm that they will amend their application and file for another warrant, expressing disappointment in the court’s decision.
Authorities raided Shin’s home in the wake of Terra’s collapse, while the offices of Chai Corp, his new firm, suffered a similar fate in November. Shin is being charged with illegally making over $100 million by selling pre-issued LUNA tokens that he failed to disclose to Terra investors.
Shin has denied all involvement in any wrongdoing and claims that investigators are merely twisting South Korea’s capital market laws to secure a conviction.
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