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Fugitive crypto boss Do Kwon believed to be under arrest in Montenegro

Co-founder and CEO of Terraform Labs accused of defrauding investors

The 2022 collapse of the TerraUSD coin hit investors around the world.   © Reuters

PODGORICA, Montenegro /SEOUL (Reuters) -- Police in Montenegro have detained a person thought to be Do Kwon, an international fugitive accused of defrauding investors in a multibillion-dollar cryptocurrency scheme, the country's interior minister said on Thursday.

"The person is suspected of being one of the most wanted fugitives, South Korean national Do Kwon, a co-founder and CEO of the Singapore-based Terraform Labs," Filip Adzic, the Montenegrin interior minister wrote on Twitter.

South Korean police said a suspect thought to be Do Kwon and another person thought to be an individual named Han Chang-joon had been arrested in Montenegro.

"We have not yet received fingerprints from Montenegro, but we plan to have final identity verification by tomorrow morning," an official at the Korean National Police Agency told Reuters.

In February, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil lawsuit against Kwon and Terraform Labs in Manhattan federal court, accusing them of defrauding investors in what the regulator deemed a multibillion-dollar scheme.

"The former cryptocurrency king who is behind losses of over $40 billion, has been apprehended at the Podgorica airport with forged documents. The same person is being sought by South Korea, the United States and Singapore," Adzic said.

A police officer who asked not to be named told Reuters that an identification procedure was underway.

"If the identity of that person is confirmed, he will be placed in the extradition detention," he said.

Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that the U.S. Justice Department was investigating the 2022 collapse of the TerraUSD stablecoin and had questioned former team members of Terraform Labs, which was behind the stablecoin.

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