South Korea’s Police Agency Requests INTERPOL’s Assistance for Extradition of Terra’s Do Kwon

South Korea is stepping up efforts to extradite Terraform Labs CEO Do Kwon, seeking INTERPOL’s cooperation after a court in Montenegro rejected extradition from the US.

South Korea’s National Police Agency made an official announcement requested the assistance of the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) in the extradition of Do Kwon, the CEO of Terraform Labs, back to his homeland. The development comes after a court in Montenegro overturned a previous decision to extradite Kwon to the United States, in favor of a potential return to South Korea due to earlier extradition requests.

The decision of the Montenegrin court and the response of South Korea

On March 7, 2024, the Court of Appeals of Montenegro sent the case back to the primary court, overturning a previous ruling that Kwon would have been extradited to the United States. The cancellation was based on the timeline of extradition requests, where South Korea’s request preceded that of the US by just days.

Following this development, South Korean law enforcement agencies were proactive in strengthening their position. The National Police Agency, through the INTERPOL Korea National Central Bureau, sent a message to the INTERPOL General Secretariat urging the organization to ensure that Kwon is extradited to South Korea.

Terra Luna Crisis

Do Kwon was a central figure in the collapse of the Terra-Luna cryptocurrency, which saw billions of dollars in market value lost overnight. The incident had a catastrophic impact on global investors, with estimates suggesting losses in excess of 50 trillion won (over US$40 billion), including significant damage to an estimated 200,000 domestic investors.

Kwon’s legal troubles began when he fled to Singapore in April 2022, shortly before the cryptocurrency’s value plummeted. He was subsequently detained in Montenegro in March 2023 on charges of using a false passport. Kwon has since been detained in Montenegro, with his legal status the subject of international dispute.

The process of international extradition and its complexities

Extradition is a complex process, often influenced by international relations, the gravity of the alleged crimes and the legal frameworks of the countries involved. In Kwon’s case, the process is further complicated by competing demands from South Korea and the United States.

As South Korea steps up its efforts to bring Kwon to justice, the international community is closely monitoring the situation. The case not only serves as an important legal precedent for international crimes involving cryptocurrencies but also highlights the need for global cooperation in the regulation and oversight of the digital asset industry.

Look forward

The South Korean government, along with the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Police Agency, continue to coordinate efforts to secure Kwon’s extradition. The final decision is now in the hands of Montenegrin justice and INTERPOL’s follow-up based on South Korea’s complaints.

This case highlights the growing need for international legal frameworks that can effectively address the borderless nature of cryptocurrency-related crimes. As the legal saga unfolds, it also serves as a cautionary tale for the crypto industry as a whole, emphasizing accountability and the potential reach of law enforcement beyond national borders.


The South Korean police agency’s request for INTERPOL’s assistance marks a significant step in the ongoing legal proceedings against Do Kwon. It reflects the country’s determination to hold people accountable for their actions in the cryptocurrency space, setting a precedent for future cases of a similar nature.

The legal outcome of this case could have far-reaching implications for the governance and regulation of the cryptocurrency industry as nations grapple with the challenges of pursuing justice across jurisdictions in an increasingly digital and decentralized financial landscape.

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