In an action that might result in an international arrest in connection with the implosion of a multibillion-dollar cryptocurrency project this year, South Korea has begun the process of canceling the Singapore-based Kwon Do-Hyung’s passport, including that of five other suspects. The process could take about a week.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs handles passport cancellation requests, and the process can take seven to thirty days, according to Hwang Suk-jin, professor of information security at Dongguk University in Seoul.
As stated by Hwang, who has collaborated with South Korea’s law enforcement and the Ministry of National Defense, the cancellation of suspects’ passports would make them become illegal migrants.
The South Korean national, Do Kwon, who oversaw Terraform Labs, the company that developed the Terra stablecoin and Luna, has already gotten a local arrest warrant from Seoul.
According to CoinGecko, the stablecoin and the Luna token collapsed in May this year, wiping out an estimated market valuation of US$37 billion.
Do Kwon’s passport has been canceled, according to Choi Sung-kook of the Seoul Southern District Prosecutors’ Office, who is in charge of investigating the Terra-Luna case.
He said that the same sentence had been given to five more South Korean citizens who worked for Terraform Labs and were thought to be living in Singapore.
Will a Red Notice Issued by Interpol Actually Lead to Do Kwon’s Arrest in Singapore?
Choi said that the prosecutors would next ask for an Interpol Red Notice for Do Kwon without providing any other information.
According to Interpol’s website, a Red Notice is a request for law enforcement agencies worldwide to find and temporarily arrest someone pending extradition, surrender, or other legal action.
According to Hwang, prosecutors’ decision to cancel passports is likely motivated by the fact that South Korea and Singapore do not have an extradition treaty.
According to Hwang, there must be an extradition treaty or an international judicial mutual aid for the red notice to result in an actual arrest or detention in Singapore.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs official website, South Korea does not partake in any treaties with Singapore.
Hwang also said they would have problems with only the red notice, so they also decided to cancel the [suspects’ passports].” Although this isn’t certain, it may result in Singapore deporting the suspects before the expiration of their legal visa.
There is a chance that Do Kwon and the other five suspects have other passports, but the Seoul prosecutor’s office has chosen not to comment.