Interpol announced this evening the arrest of Kwon Do-hyeong, also known as Do Kwon, a disgraced crypto fugitive.
Crypto fugitive Do Kwon arrested in Montenegro, says interior minister https://t.co/pl9PshdPNb
— Financial Times (@FT) March 23, 2023
Do Kwon is the founder of TerraUSD stablecoin and Luna, two digital currencies that lost an estimated $40 billion last year.
Interpol apprehended Kwon, 31, and another person of interest at an airport in Montenegro. According to the Interior Ministry there, the two were using forged documents to travel to Dubai.
As the Minister of Interior @filip_adzic, announced earlier today, two citizens, Kwon Do Hyeong and Hon Chang Joon, were apprehended and brought to the Basic State Prosecutor’s Office in Podgorica, on criminal charges for the criminal offense of document forgery under (1/3) pic.twitter.com/iS0rRs2Fwv
— mupCG (@MupCg) March 23, 2023
“He was arrested at the airport with counterfeit documentation and is wanted by several countries, including the USA, South Korea, and Singapore,” Montenegrin Internal Affairs Minister Filip Adžić wrote in a Facebook post.
The arrest is the culmination of an international months-long search for Do Kwon. South Korea had asked Interpol to issue a “red notice,” which allows other countries to arrest Kwon.
According to the New York Times, U.S. prosecutors in the Southern District of New York filed criminal charges against Mr. Kwon a few hours after his arrest. The charges include wire fraud, commodities fraud, securities fraud, and conspiracy to defraud and engage in market manipulation.
Who is Do Kwon?
Kwon graduated from Stanford and briefly worked at Apple before designing his two cryptocurrencies. TerraUSD was a “stablecoin,” supposed to maintain a constant price of $1, while Luna’s value fluctuated.
Between 2021 and early 2022, Luna was valued at $40 billion. Kwon became widely popular. His fans called themselves “Lunatics.”
But Luna ultimately crashed—its value wiped clean overnight. The crash caused a domino effect on other popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Soon after, Kwon went into hiding.
Kwon claimed on Twitter that he was “not on the run.”
I am not “on the run” or anything similar – for any government agency that has shown interest to communicate, we are in full cooperation and we don’t have anything to hide
— Do Kwon ? (@stablekwon) September 17, 2022
But according to CNN, a South Korean court issued an arrest warrant for Kwon last September. He was believed to be in Serbia.