Do Kwon, the Terraform Labs founder and CEO, has told a Montenegro court that he did not know the “fake” travel documents he was allegedly trying to leave the country with were forged – and blamed a “Chinese-named agency.”
Per the South Korean media outlets Segye Ilbo and MBN, Kwon told a District Court in Podgorica, Montenegro, that he had received all of his reportedly forged travel documents, including a Costa Rica passport, through “agencies.”
“I received my Costa Rica passport after filling in the documents required by a Singapore agency that was recommended to me by a friend. I received my Belgian passport through another agency.”
Kwon claimed that he had “trusted” the agency “because it was recommended” to him “by a trustworthy friend.”
But the CEO, who appeared in court with a freshly shaved head, failed to name the agency when quizzed by the prosecution.
Instead, Kwon claimed that the agency had a “Chinese name,” but that he could not “remember exactly” what it was called.
LUNC prices were relatively stable on June 18 as the news of the court appearance broke.
Kwon was arrested in May along with Terraform’s former chief financial officer Han Chong-joon as they were allegedly attempting to board a plane bound for the UAE.
Kwon and Han have been charged with traveling on forged documents, charges which they both deny.
But both are wanted in their native South Korea on fraud charges.
Do Kwon: Agencies Are to Blame for Passport Problems
Kwon shuttered his South Korean businesses and appears to have fled the country shortly before the collapse of Terra ecosystem coins over a year ago.
During his latest court appearance, Kwon also “insisted on the innocence” of Han, asking the court:
“If somebody needs to be punished for [using a] fake passport, let that be me alone.”
Kwon has applied for bail twice, while prosecutors in South Korea, the US, and Singapore have asked him to be extradited to face charges.
But as Montenegro and South Korea have never signed an extradition treaty, deporting Kwon may prove tricky.
Earlier this month, a Higher Court representative told reporters:
“The judge of the Higher Court has ordered [that Kwon and Han] be detained for six months following the opening of an extradition case at the request of South Korea.”
Terraform Labs CEO Do Kwon has blamed a “Chinese-named agency” for providing fake passports to Terra employees. Kwon made the claim in a tweet on June 17, 2023, in response to allegations that Terra employees had used fake passports to obtain visas.
Kwon said that the agency had provided the passports to Terra employees without his knowledge. He said that he had “fired” the agency and that he was “working with law enforcement to investigate.”
The allegations of fake passports have added to the turmoil surrounding Terraform Labs. The company’s flagship cryptocurrency, TerraUSD (UST), lost its peg to the US dollar in May 2023, causing a collapse in the Terra ecosystem.
Kwon has been under fire for his handling of the UST crisis. He has been accused of misleading investors and of failing to adequately protect the project from fraud.
The allegations of fake passports have further damaged Kwon’s reputation. It remains to be seen whether the allegations will be substantiated, but they have raised serious questions about the integrity of Terraform Labs.
Here are some additional details about the allegations:
- The allegations were first made by FatManTerra, a pseudonymous Twitter user who has been critical of Terraform Labs.
- FatManTerra claimed that Terra employees had used fake passports to obtain visas in Singapore and Dubai.
- Kwon denied the allegations, saying that they were “false and defamatory.”
- However, Kwon later admitted that some Terra employees had used fake passports. He said that he had “fired” the agency that had provided the passports and that he was “working with law enforcement to investigate.”
The allegations of fake passports are just one of the many challenges facing Terraform Labs. The company is also facing lawsuits from investors who lost money in the UST collapse. It remains to be seen whether Terraform Labs will be able to survive the current crisis.