The International Police (Interpol) has confirmed that Kwon Do-hyeong, commonly called Do Kwon, has been arrested in Montenegro. Do kwon founded a platform that brought stablecoins Luna and TerraUSD to the crypto market. Both coins collapsed in May 2022, resulting in the loss of at least $40 billion from the cryptocurrency market. The resultant panic birthed what came to be referred to as the “crypto winter.”
Interpol’s office in Seoul, South Korea, confirmed that the man being held was Do Kwon after the detainee’s fingerprints were taken and matched to the wanted fugitive’s prints. The announcement was made late last week. Prior to Interpol’s announcement, Filip Adzic, the minister in charge of Internal Affairs in Montenegro, had written on Facebook that someone thought to be the wanted crypto fugitive had been taken into custody from Montenegro’s capital Podgorica. Adzic’s post further revealed that the man, who had fake documents in his possession, was arrested while at the airport.
Do Kwon was a person of interest to several law enforcement agencies in different countries, including South Korea, the United States and Singapore. Terraform Labs, the company behind Luna and TerraUSD, was founded and run by Do Kwon from Singapore. Prosecutors in the country revealed that after the collapse of these coins, Do Kwon fled from Singapore through Dubai, and they had information to the effect that the fugitive was hiding in Serbia. This recent arrest confirms that Singapore security was right about its suspicions regarding the whereabouts of Do Kwon.
In September 2022, a South Korean court issued a warrant of arrest against Do Kwon after numerous investors filed complaints that his firm, Terraform Labs, defrauded them. Do Kwon’s response was that the “politically motivated” charges against him had no basis in fact or law, and that they were to be treated with the contempt they deserved. When asked about his location, the entrepreneur replied on Twitter that while he wasn’t on the run, he didn’t feel comfortable sharing his whereabouts due to concerns about his own safety.
Luna and TerraUSD’s collapse sent the crypto industry reeling through a long bear market that saw a huge fraction of the industry’s capitalization wiped out. As the reverberations of this event were settling, FTX came tumbling down in November, and many doomsayers started announcing the end of the crypto industry.
However, industry players such as Marathon Digital Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: MARA) have proved to be resilient and are riding out this storm while looking forward to better times ahead.
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