- Do Kwon, facing forged passport charges in Montenegro, said his Costa Rican document was bought through an agency in Singapore.
- The former crypto king was arrested in Podgorica Airport when trying to board a private jet to Dubai in March after border guards questioned the validity of his Costa Rican passport.
Do Kwon hit back at forged passport allegations in a Montenegro court today and said his Costa Rican document was bought through an agency in Singapore.
“We applied for these passports through an agency recommended to me by friends whom I respect. It would be hard to believe that a person about whom so much is known would agree to travel with a fake passport… trying to take a private plane from Podgorica would be tantamount to suicide,” local newspaper Vijesti reported Kwon said in court.
The former crypto king was arrested in Podgorica Airport when trying to board a private jet to Dubai in March after border guards questioned the validity of his Costa Rican passport.
In court today Kwon said he thought he was participating in a “golden passport” scheme, where high-value investors are able to fast-track citizenship to certain countries.
Kwon cited Grenada, Portugal, Dubai, and Montenegro as offering similar schemes, and said that he paid €250,000 for his Costa Rican passport.
Costa Rica does offer an investment pathway for citizenship, but foreigners can only qualify for a passport after several years of residency, according to the Central American country’s tourism portal.
Lawyer Goran Rodic, who represents both Kwon and his co-defendant and former business partner Han Chang-Joon confirmed to DL News that his clients had further elaborated on their statements in court. The pair have maintained their not guilty plea.
Kwon said that they obtained the Costa Rican passports and Belgium identity cards through an agency in Singapore and that they had no reason to doubt their authenticity or the bad intentions of the agency. Han’s passport is also said to have been obtained through Kwon, Montenegro’s public broadcaster RTCG reported.
After court Kwon and Han were transported back to jail despite being granted bail yesterday, as they are also subject to extradition proceedings.
Kwon is wanted by both the US and South Korean authorities in connection with the $60 billion collapse of the Terra blockchain network in May 2022. Kwon, a 31-year-old South Korea native, allegedly defrauded investors in Terra, a venture he founded that offered a stablecoin and various interlocking crypto businesses with their own tokens.
Kwon was yesterday given six months of extradition detention while the court decides on the extradition requests.
Further complicating the legal wrangling, Kwon will also be questioned by the special prosecutor after he wrote to the Montenegrin prime minister regarding his relationship with Milojko Spajić, the man thought to succeed him after Sunday’s parliamentary elections.
The letter, sent earlier this month, alleges that he met with Spajić in Belgrade while on the run from the authorities, and stayed with him at his family home.