Terraform Labs founder Do Kwon reportedly told a Montenegro court that he wasn’t aware the passport he was traveling with was allegedly forged and instead pinned the blame on a Chinese-named agency.
According to a June 17 report from South Korean news outlet Segye Ilbo, Kwon told the Montenegrin Basic Court he received his allegedly forged passports and travel documentation, including a Costa Rican passport, through third-party “agencies.”
“I received my Costa Rica passport after filling in the documents required by a Singaporean agency that was recommended to me by a friend. I received my Belgian passport through another agency.”
According to Kwon, because he’d been traveling with his Costa Rican passport “for years,” he had no reason to doubt its authenticity.
The prosecution pressed Kwon for further details on the agency he used for his passports, but Kwon said he couldn’t “remember exactly,” adding he only knew the agency’s name was “in Chinese.”
Kwon was questioned alongside his colleague and former Terraform Labs Chief Financial Officer Han Chong-joon.
In addition to denying forgery of travel documentation, Kwon denied allegations he made any financial donations to Montenegro’s former finance minister Milojko Spajić, the now-leader of the Europe Now party.
According to a June 17 report from a regional arm of Radio Free Europe, Kwon allegedly made contact with Spajić in a letter he sent to several Montenegrin officials in the days before the latest round of elections in the country.
“This is categorically denied and it is not true,” said Kwon’s lawyers.
Spajić denied having ties to Kwon but their rumored financial connections were covered heavily by various news outlets in Montenegro.
Korean media reports that for years, Do Kwon had secretly been sponsoring a prominent Montenegrin politician using illegal funds. Two days ago, a Montenegro high court approved Do Kwon’s bail request again, allowing for his release from prison. https://t.co/aNqYkKG70H
— FatMan (@FatManTerra) June 9, 2023
Following the hearing, Judge Ivana Becić announced she will issue a verdict on the forgery charges onJune 19 local time. Kwon will be held in extradition custody for up to six months, while the local court considers South Korea’s extradition request.
Kwon and Chong-Joon were arrested by local authorities on March 23 after being accused of falsifying passports that were used in an attempt to leave Montenegro on a private flight to Dubai.
Lawyers for the pair initially received approval for the proposed bail of 400,000 euros ($436,000), but that decision was reversed on appeal on May 24. On June 5, this appeal was dismissedand bail was granted for Kwon and Chong-joon. The pair will be closely monitored by local police, and if either leaves their residence or violates the approved conditions, their bail will be forfeited.
Terraform Labs’ Terra ecosystem collapsed in May 2022leading to losses estimated at up to $40 billion.