South Korean prosecutors have reportedly requested Interpol intervene in their case against Terra co-founder Do Kwon by issuing a "Red Notice" — suggesting global law enforcement agencies may attempt to find and detain him.
According to a Monday report from the Financial Times, the Seoul Southern District prosecutors’ office said it had “begun the procedure” to place Kwon on Interpol’s Red Notice list following steps to revoke the Terra co-founder’s passport while he was in Singapore. Interpol’s website states that a Red Notice is requested by authorities “locate and provisionally arrest a person pending extradition, surrender, or similar legal action,” but the agency cannot compel local law enforcement to arrest the subject of such notice.
“We are doing our best to locate and arrest [Kwon],” a spokesperson for the prosecutors’ office reportedly said. “He is clearly on the run as his company’s key finance people also left for the same country during that time.”
Kwon has continued to be active on social media amid potential arrest and prosecution. Cointelegraph reported on Sunday that the Terra co-founder claimed he was “not ‘on the run’ or anything similar” but did not reveal his location — his Twitter account still showed him in Singapore at the time of publication. Reuters reported on Saturday that authorities in Singapore said Kwon was no longer in the country, having relocated there from South Korea in April.
The ongoing saga with Kwon and Terra started in May when the project’s algorithmic stablecoin TerraUSD Classic (USTC) — originally TerraUSD (UST) — depegged from the U.S. dollar and dropped to almost zero within weeks. The price of Terra (LUNA) — now Terra Classic (LUNC) — also crashed amid liquidity issues reported at platforms including Celsius.
Kwon, certain Terra employees and the company were the target of an investigation by South Korean financial authorities, who reportedly raided the offices of crypto exchanges Upbit, Bithumb, Coinone, Korbit and Gopax in July. On Sept. 14, a South Korean court reportedly issued a warrant for the arrest of Kwon and five individuals connected to Terra for allegedly violating capital markets laws. However, South Korea has no extradition agreement with Singapore.
According to Interpol, there are currently 7,151 individuals publicly named on the agency’s Red Notice list out of 69,270. At the time of publication, Kwon was not among them and the only South Korean national so named was 59-year-old Lee Changhwan, wanted by Indian authorities.
The official Twitter account of India-based crypto exchange CoinDCX has been hacked and used by the exploiters to post fake XRP promos partnered with phishing links in an attempt to scam the exchange’s followers.
Responding to the attack, the official customer support handle of CoinDCX flagged the exploit and warned its users not to click any links or messages coming from the compromised account. According to the exchange, they are working to recover the account and will be sharing updates with their followers very soon.
At the time of writing, the hackers have been retweeting the official posts of Ripple Labs CEO Brad Garlinghouse to make their scam look legitimate. While doing that, the scammers reply to crypto tweets with scam links.
Users who click on the links posted on the account are at risk of losing their assets from the hacker's scheme. If the issue is not resolved soon, the losses may become severe as the official Twitter account currently has over 230,000 followers.
Earlier this month, the Twitter account of one of the Big Four accounting firms, PwC Venezuela, was also compromised and flooded with fake XRP token giveaways and was filled with phishing links to a fraudulent Ripple event using Garlinghouse’s images as their thumbnails.
On the same day, an Elon Musk giveaway scam plagued an official YouTube account owned by the government of South Korea. The account was compromised and renamed SpaceX Invest as it posted fake videos of Musk talking about crypto.
The United States Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) has made an unprecedented claim that Ethereum transactions take place in the United States as Ethereum nodes are “clustered more densely” in the U.S. than in any other country.
The SEC argument is found within a Sept. 19 lawsuit against crypto researcher and YouTuber Ian Balina, which alleged, among many other complaints, that Balina conducted an unregistered offering of Sparkster (SPRK) tokens when he formed an investing pool on Telegram in 2018.
The SEC claims that at the time that U.S.-based investors participated in Balina’s investing pool, the Ether (ETH) contributions were validated by a network of nodes on the Ethereum blockchain, “which are clustered more densely in the United States than in any other country.”
The SEC argued that as a result, “those transactions took place in the United States.”
At this stage, it is unclear whether such a claim will hold up in court or whether there is any legal precedent at stake. However, currently, 42.56% of the 7807 Ethereum nodes are currently situated in the U.S., according to Ethernodes.
Speaking to Cointelegraph, Aaron Lane, an Australian lawyer and senior research fellow at the RMIT Blockchain Innovation Hub, said the distribution of Ethereum nodes is largely irrelevant to the case at hand, explaining:
“The fact that we’ve got a U.S. based plaintiff, a U.S. based defendant and transactions flowing from the U.S. is what is most relevant here. It doesn’t matter whether the payment was done on Ethereum, Mastercard or any payment network for that matter.”
Lane said that while SEC’s claim was an interesting one, he added that even if Balina’s lawyers don’t contest the issue of jurisdiction, it’s not going to have any impact on future cases for now:
“The defense may concede jurisdiction here, and if they do it won’t be an issue, and if it’s not a contested issue then the court won’t say anything about it. Any concern about legal precedent at this stage is premature.”
The SEC has been previously criticized for its regulatory approach toward crypto, which has been labeled by some as “regulation by enforcement.”
Responding to the lawsuit, Balina said in a 19-part Twitter thread that the charges were “baseless” and that he “turned down settlement so they [SEC] have to prove themselves.”
Balina did not comment on the SEC’s claim that the U.S. should be afforded jurisdiction for Ethereum-based transactions because of the heavy distribution of nodes situated in the U.S.
Balina’s charges come as Sparkster and its CEO, Sajjad Daya, recently settled its case with the SEC on Sept. 19, agreeing to pay back $35 million to “harmed investors” after its initial coin offering (ICO) in 2018.
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