Terraform Labs CEO Kwon Do-Hyung, the man behind the crashed stablecoin TerraUSD and cryptocurrency Luna, is set to face trial in Montenegro following his arrest for attempting to leave the country with a false Costa Rican passport. Kwon, who is better known as Do Kwon, was detained on March 23 while en route to Dubai.
His Montenegrin lawyer, Vojislav Zečević, told South Korea’s Yonhap news agency that the trial for using forged personal documents “must be completed first” before Kwon can be extradited to other countries. South Korean and U.S. authorities are both seeking Kwon’s extradition, but the process is expected to take some time due to Montenegro’s intention to indict him.
Zečević plans to appeal the court order extending Kwon’s pre-trial detention. Initially arrested for 72 hours, a local court extended the detention to 30 days, citing flight risk and the need to verify Kwon’s identity. The lawyer insists that the passport was legitimate; however, a Bloomberg report revealed that a forged Belgian passport was also found in Kwon’s luggage.
Montenegro’s Interior Minister Filip Adžić disclosed that investigators discovered three laptops and five mobile phones belonging to Kwon, containing “very interesting” information. The fate of Kwon’s extradition to the U.S. or South Korea will be determined by a judge, according to Montenegro’s Justice Minister Marko Kovač. However, Kwon may first have to serve time in Montenegro if convicted of traveling on fake documents.
Kovač explained that “consideration will be given to the gravity of crimes, the location of committed offenses, the sequence of requests, as well as the citizenship” of the suspects. Kwon was arrested alongside another individual, identified as Terraform’s Chief Financial Officer, Han Chang-joon.
As the trial unfolds, the world will be watching closely to see how this high-profile case impacts the reputation of cryptocurrency companies and the industry as a whole. The delay in extradition proceedings underscores the complex legal landscape surrounding international crime and digital assets, and may set the stage for future cases involving prominent figures in the world of cryptocurrency.