Where did Do Kwon go? Terra leader says he’s ‘not on the run’ as manhunt continues

Key points to remember

  • Do Kwon has denied claims that he is “on the run” from authorities after an arrest warrant was issued for him this week.
  • Singapore police reported he fled the country on Saturday, and prosecutors hit back at his latest claims that he “escaped”.
  • The crypto community has been calling for Kwon’s arrest since Terra collapsed in May.

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Kwon insisted he was “not ‘on the run'” on Twitter on Saturday. Authorities have suggested otherwise.

Do Kwon disappears

Do Kwon may or may not be “on the run,” depending on who you ask.

Questions about the whereabouts of the Terraform Labs CEO surfaced over the weekend after authorities in Singapore released a statement saying he was not in the country. Reuters reported on development Saturday.

A few hours after the update, Kwon caught on Twitter to reject claims. “I am not ‘on the run’ or anything similar – to any government agency that has expressed an interest in communicating, we are in full cooperation and have nothing to hide,” he wrote, adding that Terraform Labs had held itself to “an extremely high bar of integrity” as it faces lawsuits in multiple jurisdictions. Crypto Briefing reached out to Kwon asking where he was, but had not received a response as of press time.

South Korean press briefing Yonhap followed Kwon’s tweets with an update on Sunday, reporting that authorities have dismissed Kwon’s claims. According to the report, the prosecution concluded that “it is clear that he escaped”. The report further noted how Kwon disbanded the Korean entity of Terraform Labs in April in anticipation of Terra’s $40 billion collapse and then left for Singapore, which Kwon claimed was pure coincidence when was interrogated after Terra’s implosion.

This weekend’s developments come after a Seoul court issued arrest warrants for Kwon and five of his associates earlier this week. The warrants alleged that the group violated Korea’s capital markets law, local media reported citing a message from the prosecutor’s office. Following the update, it emerged that the South Korean Foreign Ministry was seeking to revoke the passports of Kwon and four of his accomplices.

Should Terras controversial boss to be imprisoned?

Kwon’s possible arrest has been a hot topic of debate in crypto circles ever since Terra failed in May, to the point that a token called “JailKwon” was launched earlier this month. Many in the crypto community have wondered how Kwon has evaded arrest thus far, but space has been split on whether he broke any laws while overseeing Terra. Kwon and Terraform Labs are currently under investigation by Korean regulators and the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, and also face multiple class action lawsuits.

Besides the implosion of Terra itself, the opaque nature of Terraform Labs and the operations of the Luna Foundation Guard has come under intense scrutiny within the community, especially after the disappearance of more than one billion dollars worth of Bitcoin from LFG’s reserves during the collapse of the UST. LFG said it spent the funds trying to preserve UST’s anchorage, but it never produced any evidence.

Although it is up to the authorities to decide whether Kwon should be imprisoned, even though he claimed that he is not in hiding, it is obvious that the authorities are keen to talk to him. Even though Kwon is not charged with any crime, he has become something of a villain in the crypto community due to his conduct prior to Terra’s failure. Kwon became famous for his pompous takes on Crypto Twitter, regularly describing others as “poor” and making thinly veiled attempts to endorse LUNA through his official and Terra accounts. Terra’s attempts to market UST as a “stablecoin” have also sparked debate over whether Kwon and his company intentionally misled investors. After the Terra explosion, Kwon was criticized for initiating a plan to revive Terra as Terra 2.0, by cloning the blockchain minus its faulty stablecoin. Terra 2.0’s LUNA took a hit this week when news of the arrest warrant surfaced, as did LUNC (the original LUNA’s ticker).

Does Kwon deserve to be imprisoned? Maybe, but that might not be the only question worth asking. Did he show a clear lack of ethics before Terra collapsed? Absolutely – and with that, many crypto enthusiasts will no doubt agree, it looks like Kwon is finally getting his just deserts.

Disclosure: At the time of writing this article, the author of this article owned ETH and several other cryptocurrencies.

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