Wanted crypto developer Do Kwon, who was the lead developer of two cryptocurrencies, said he was not on the run after Singapore police revealed he was out of the island state.
The 31-year-old Korean national has been accused of fraud by investors after his cryptocurrencies Luna and TerraUSD crashed, wiping out more than $40 billion in investor money earlier this year.
On Wednesday, a South Korean court issued an arrest warrant for Do Kwon. Kwon is believed to be in Singapore, where he gave his first media interview since his business collapsed in May this year. But Singapore Police (SPF) said he was “currently” not in the country.
“The SPF will assist the Korean National Police Agency (KNPA) within the framework of our national law and our international obligations,” they said in a brief statement in response to a question from the AFP news agency. Police did not provide further details.
Local reports suggest Kwon’s work permit in Singapore was due to expire on December 7, but a renewal may now be in jeopardy.
Kwon says he is ready to cooperate
On Sunday, Kwon said he and his organization were ready to cooperate fully with law enforcement.
“I’m ‘not on the run’ or anything like that,” Kwon said in a statement on Twitter early Sunday. He did not reveal his whereabouts, but insisted that “we have nothing to hide”.
“We are in the process of defending ourselves in multiple jurisdictions…and we look forward to clarifying the truth over the coming months,” he added.
What happened to Terra and Luna?
South Korean prosecutors have also issued arrest warrants for five other people, in addition to Kwon – all linked to stablecoin TerraUSD and its sister token Luna.
While stablecoins are usually designed to have a stable price and pegged to a real-world commodity, TerraUSD was algorithmic and used code to keep its price around one US dollar.
In May, the Terra/Luna system disintegrated with the collapse of Terraform Labs, and the price of both tokens plummeted to near zero. The fallout affected the broader crypto market, causing over $500 billion in losses.
With many investors losing their life savings in the crash, South Korean authorities have opened several criminal investigations into the crash.
see/dj (Reuters, AFP)