South Korean prosecutors have asked Interpol to issue a red notice against Do Kwon, the co-founder of collapsed cryptocurrency operator Terraform Labs, alleging that he is refusing to co-operate with an investigation into the $40bn implosion of the terraUSD and luna tokens.
The Seoul Southern District Prosecutors’ Office said on Monday that it asked Seoul’s foreign ministry to cancel Kwon’s South Korean passport as he was “obviously on the run and has no intention to appear before us for questioning”.
“We have begun the procedure to place him on the Interpol red notice list and revoke his passport,” the prosecutors’ office said, adding that Kwon had not co-operated with investigations into his company’s collapse.
An Interpol red notice is a request to law enforcement worldwide to “locate and provisionally arrest a person pending extradition, surrender or similar legal action”, according to Interpol’s website. Red notices are issued for fugitives wanted either for prosecution or to serve a sentence.
The prosecutor’s office said that Kwon told investigators through his lawyer that he did not want to respond to their summons immediately.
Prosecutors said he disbanded the South Korean unit of Terraform Labs and left for Singapore at the end of April.
“We are doing our best to locate and arrest him,” a spokesperson for the office said. “He is clearly on the run as his company’s key finance people also left for the same country during that time.”
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
Kwon could not be reached for comment. Kwon’s lawyers could not immediately be reached for comment.
Last week, a South Korean court issued arrest warrants for Kwon and five others connected to Terraform Labs for violating the country’s capital markets laws, saying that they were staying in Singapore.
Singapore police said on Saturday that Kwon was not currently in the city-state, but they would assist the South Korean investigation.
After the arrest warrants were released, Kwon denied that he was 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 co-operation and we don’t have anything to hide,” Kwon wrote on Twitter on Sunday.
“We are in the process of defending ourselves in multiple jurisdictions — we have held ourselves to an extremely high bar of integrity, and look forward to clarifying the truth over the next few months.”
South Korean prosecutors have accused Kwon of financial fraud and are investigating him and his company after two complaints were filed on behalf of 81 investors over allegations that the business deceived investors.