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South Korea says crypto fugitive Do Kwon is hiding in Serbia

<i>Woohae Cho/Bloomberg/Getty Images</i><br/>Do Kwon
Bloomberg via Getty Images
Woohae Cho/Bloomberg/Getty Images
Do Kwon

By Kathleen Magramo and Jake Kwon, CNN

Do Kwon, a disgraced tycoon behind the collapse of the TerraUSD and Luna coins that roiled the crypto assets market in May, is hiding in Serbia, according to South Korean prosecutors who are seeking to take him into custody.

Kwon, a South Korean national, had made his way from Singapore, where he was living while running the blockchain platform Terraform Labs, to Dubai and finally to Serbia, a spokesperson for the Seoul Southern District Prosecutors’ Office told CNN on Tuesday.

The office became aware that Kwon was in Serbia in November and was tracking him, according to the spokesperson, adding that it was seeking assistance from the Serbian government to arrest and extradite him.

In September, a South Korean court issued an arrest warrant for him, after he was accused of fraud by investors in the wake of the collapse of his company.

Kwon has been charged with fraud and breaches of South Korea’s capital markets law. He said in October that he didn’t believe the charges were legitimate, adding that they were “politically motivated.”

The crypto developer has repeatedly claimed on Twitter that he was not “on the run,” but refused to disclose his whereabouts due to worries about his personal security.

Terraform Labs was behind the TerraUSD “stablecoin,” which in theory was meant to retain a $1 price point, and its sister coin Luna. Both coins lost much of their value in a matter of days in May, wiping tens of billions of dollars in value from the crypto market and setting off panic across the speculative sector.

The collapse of the two linked coins kick started the so-called “crypto winter,” from which the industry was struggling to recover even as it experienced another huge blow from the fall of crypto exchange FTX in November. Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of FTX, was arrested in the Bahamas on Monday after US prosecutors filed criminal charges against him.

— Jon Sarlin contributed to this report.

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