Do Kwon can’t leave Montenegro, but owes the US millions

While Do Kwon languishes in a Montenegro detention facility, waiting to discover his fate, the US government has had its say on the long and drawn-out saga of his on-again, off-again extradition.

Firstly, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) pushed forward a motion for final judgement against Do and Terraform Labs. Secondly, the State Department published a report that suggests the government in Montenegro doesn’t effectively apply the law when it comes to “the criminal punishment of cases of corruption among officials.”

This has been more than obvious in the trials and travails of Do.

Corruption everywhere

It’s likely that Do specifically chose to flee to Montenegro due to the corruption. Unfortunately for him, it hasn’t necessarily helped. Using fake and Interpol Red Notice-flagged passports, Do was quickly apprehended as he attempted to flee Podgorica in March of 2023, and has since been subject to over a dozen changes of heart with regards to his extradition.

The courts, which can’t seem to decide if he’ll be extradited or where to, have been taking heat since the State Department report called attention to numerous horrifying issues in the country. These include “inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment for which government officials are responsible, serious problems for the independence of the judiciary… corruption in government, widespread gender-based violence, human trafficking, criminal acts of violence or threats of violence against members of the LGBTQ+ community, and the existence of the worst forms of child labor.”

The State Department’s comments come hot on the heels of a European Commission report from November of last year that suggested “the judicial system [of Montenegro] continue[s] to face a deep institutional crisis, resulting in weak leadership and management, lack of strategic vision and poor planning, affecting the country’s ability to deliver justice.”

Read more: Do Kwon extradition reversed yet again in Supreme Court ruling

$100 million and another complaint

Meanwhile, the SEC has requested that Do be forced to pay a $100 million civil penalty for his part in the Terra/Luna Ponzi scheme. Terraform Labs, meanwhile is being asked to pay $420 million and Avron Elbaum and Donald Battle are being asked to fork over almost $5 billion.

The monetary fines are steep and include lifetime bans from directorships, executive roles, and a conduct-based injunction.

But the civil forfeitures and penalties are the least of Do’s worries, as his lawyers just filed another complaint in Montenegro alleging that Do’s extradition to the US and the process by which it transpired aren’t only a violation of Do’s rights, but also a flagrant undermining of the country’s Supreme Court.

It’s unclear if this complaint will change Do’s extradition, but it’s worth pointing out that his lawyers have repeatedly had his undoubted extradition pushed back, altered, and challenged repeatedly.

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