South Korean prosecutors have asked Interpol to issue a red notice against Do Kwon, the co-founder of collapsed cryptocurrency operator Terraform Labs, alleging he refused to cooperate in an investigation into the implosion of $40 billion from terraUSD and luna tokens.
The Seoul Southern District Prosecutor’s Office said on Monday that it had asked the Seoul Foreign Ministry to cancel Kwon’s South Korean passport because he was “obviously on the run and does not have the intention to appear before us for questioning”.
“We have initiated the procedure to place him on Interpol’s red notice list and revoke his passport,” the prosecutor’s office said, adding that Kwon had failed to cooperate with investigations into his business collapse.
An Interpol Red Notice is a request to law enforcement agencies around the world 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 Kwon told investigators through his attorney that he did not want to immediately respond to their summons.
Prosecutors said he disbanded the South Korean unit of Terraform Labs and left for Singapore in late 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 financial officers also left for the same country during this time.”
I’m not “on the run” or anything similar – for any government agency that has expressed an interest in communicating, we are in full cooperation and have nothing to hide
— Do Kwon 🌕 (@stablekwon) September 17, 2022
Kwon could not be reached for comment. Kwon’s attorneys could not immediately be reached for comment.
Last week, a South Korean court issued arrest warrants for Kwon and five other people linked to Terraform Labs for violating the country’s capital markets laws, saying they were staying in Singapore.
Singapore police said on Saturday that Kwon is not currently in the city-state but will assist the South Korean investigation.
After the arrest warrants were issued, Kwon denied being on the run. “I’m not ‘on the run’ or anything like that – to any government agency that has expressed an interest in communicating, we are cooperating fully and have nothing to hide,” Kwon wrote on Twitter Sunday.
“We are 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 coming months.”
South Korean prosecutors have charged Kwon with financial fraud and are investigating him and his company after two lawsuits were filed on behalf of 81 investors over allegations that the company deceived investors.