Crypto suspect Do Kwon to be extradited: but where to?

Crypto fugitive Do Kwon is due to face charges over fraud, with the Balkan state of Montenegro announcing extradition approval after detaining him for months. But that leaves one question unanswered: will Do Kwon be sent back to his native South Korea, or to the US, where he is also accused of breaking the law?

In a statement published on November 24th, the High Court of Podgorica, the Montenegrin capital, declared that it had “issued a decision in the extradition proceedings against the defendant KDH [Do Kwon], which determined that the legal prerequisites [...] were met, at the request of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of [South] Korea.”

But the High Court then went on to add: “The same decision establishes that the legal prerequisites for the extradition of the same defendant have been met, at the request of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the United States of America.”

Kwon was arrested in Podgorica earlier this year after being accused by authorities in South Korea of violating the country’s market regulations in what they believe to have been a scam that led to the collapse of the $40 billion Terraform cryptocurrency platform. He’s also accused of financial fraud and tax evasion.

Also known as the “cryptocurrency king,” Kwon is believed to have fled South Korea for Singapore before moving on to Serbia and then the neighboring country of Montenegro, where he was finally apprehended and detained.

He is thought to have fled with his family and several other suspects and has previously denied being a fugitive.

But Kwon’s extradition destination remains in doubt – because though the statement by the High Court makes it clear that he stands accused of breaking the law in both the US and South Korea, it does not specify which country will get him.

Montenegro added that its Justice Minister had yet “to make the final decision on this matter” but did not specify a timeframe for doing so.

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