Do Kwon’s former finance officer extradited to South Korea

Do Kwon’s former finance officer extradited to South Korea
Police officers escort South Korean crypto mogul Do Kwon (R) in Podgorica, Montenegro, 24 March 2023. Credit: BORIS PEJOVIC/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
  • Han Chang-joon has been extradited to South Korea after completing his prison sentence in Montenegro.
  • He and Terraform Labs co-founder Do Kwon were arrested in March after attempting to travel with fake documents.
  • Han is now facing criminal proceedings that could end up with him spending the rest of his life in jail.
  • The Terra stablecoin ecosystem collapsed to the tune of $60 billion in May 2022.

Terraform Labs’ former financial officer, Han Chang-joon, has been extradited to South Korea, the Montenegrin police announced this morning.

He and the company’s co-founder Do Kwon were arrested at the Podgorica airport in March 2023, while trying to escape on a private jet, putting an end to a six-month international manhunt.

The decision to extradite Han was made by the country’s Ministry of Justice, according to an official statement from the country’s police.

The Montenegrin police said Han had been “handed over to” South Korean authorities so they can launch “criminal proceedings for several criminal offences related to fraud in financial investment services, investments and the capital market, which is punishable by life imprisonment in South Korea.”

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“We are still waiting for the decision about Do Kwon, following our appeal,” Goran Rodic, the lawyer representing Kwon and Han, told DL News.

Both US and South Korean prosecutors have demanded Kwon’s extradition in relation to the $60 billion collapse of the algorithmic stablecoin Terra in 2022.

Han’s extradition comes on the back of him having served his four-month prison sentence in Montenegro, after being found guility of trying to travel with forged documents.

Terraform Labs did not immediately return a request for comment.

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The company filed for a Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the US in January.

The extradition is the latest development in the Terra saga, which began in 2018 when Kwon founded Terraform Labs together with Daniel Shin.

Over the next four years, the company and TerraUSD, its algorithmic stablecoin, grew in popularity.

It all came crashing down in May 2022 when Terra depegged from the dollar and subsequently imploded.

The collapse set off a domino effect of industry implosions that included the liquidations of crypto fund Three Arrows Capital and exchange FTX.

In September 2022, a South Korean court issued an arrest warrant against Kwon and five others, accusing them of violating Korean capital markets laws.

Days later, Interpol issued a red notice for Kwon’s arrest.

In January 2023, DL News investigative reporters started to try to find Kwon after news reports said he was in Serbia.

In March, DL News reported Kwon and Han had been arrested in Montenegro, accused of trying to use falsified Costa Rican passports to travel to Dubai.

Montenegrin authorities charged the two with forgery and travelling with false passports.

In June, a Montenegrin court convicted Kwon of the use of forged passports. Kwon appealed the verdict, but a court rejected the appeal in November.

This is a developing story. We will give updates as we learn more.

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