The co-founder and CEO of Terraform Labs, Do Kwon, has been indicted by local prosecutors in Montenegro, nearly a month after his arrest by law enforcement. Kwon faces charges of using a fake passport and other identification documents when he attempted to flee the Balkan state on March 23, 2023. The decision to indict Kwon is likely to delay attempts to extradite him to South Korea and the United States where he faces several charges. Local prosecutors have reportedly asked a court to extend Kwon and his associate’s detention.
Kwon’s indictment is likely to complicate efforts to extradite him to the U.S. and South Korea where he faces multiple charges. At the time of his arrest, Kwon was reportedly found in possession of a fake Costa Rican passport. Before attempting to leave Montenegro, Kwon and his associate Han Chang-Joon lived in a Belgrade apartment that was acquired for about $2.2 million by the latter in Sept. 2022. According to local media reports, the apartment where Kwon is thought to have been holed up for six months was recently seized by local law enforcement.
Following the two men’s capture by local law enforcement, a Montenegro court initially ruled that the duo should remain behind bars for 30 days. However, as noted in the DL News report, more days are likely to be added if the court gives in to the prosecutors’ demand for an extension. “After the decision on the extension of detention by the court, the public will be informed about all available information regarding this case,” Maja Kosovic, a spokesperson of the court reportedly said.
Kwon and Han face possible prison terms ranging from three months to five years if convicted. The indictment comes as a blow to Terraform Labs, which has been making strides in the cryptocurrency industry. Terraform Labs is the creator of the Terra blockchain, which has seen significant adoption in the decentralized finance (DeFi) space. Kwon’s arrest and indictment have raised questions about the future of Terraform Labs and the Terra blockchain.
The cryptocurrency industry has been plagued by legal troubles in recent years, with several high-profile cases involving fraud, money laundering, and other illegal activities. The industry has also faced regulatory scrutiny, with governments around the world seeking to clamp down on cryptocurrency-related activities. The legal troubles facing Terraform Labs and its CEO are a reminder of the risks associated with investing in the cryptocurrency industry.
Investors in the industry are advised to exercise caution and conduct due diligence before investing in any cryptocurrency-related project. The industry is still largely unregulated, and investors are at risk of losing their money to fraudulent schemes and other illegal activities. The legal troubles facing Terraform Labs and its CEO are a warning to investors to be vigilant and cautious when investing in the cryptocurrency industry.
Despite the legal troubles facing the industry, cryptocurrencies continue to gain popularity among investors and consumers. Cryptocurrencies offer a range of benefits, including faster and cheaper transactions, greater privacy and security, and the ability to bypass traditional financial institutions. As the industry continues to evolve and mature, it is likely that cryptocurrencies will become more mainstream and widely accepted. However, the legal challenges facing the industry are likely to persist, and investors are advised to proceed with caution.