Former fugitive and Terra founder Do Kwon has claimed to have financed Montenegro’s political party Europe Now, which could lead the new government in upcoming elections this month. The outgoing prime minister has called on prosecutors to investigate the claims.
Kwon’s hand-written letter was sent to current prime minister Dritan Abazović, justice minister Marko Kovač, and the Special State Prosecution. According to sources within the government, the man accused of top crypto fraud has known Europe Now’s leader Milojko Spajić since 2018, and claims the pair met in Belgrade several times.
During Spajić’s tenure as finance minister, he promoted blockchain development in Montenegro. Last month, he and Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin (who was granted Montenegrin citizenship in April) pushed for the country to become a blockchain hub.
Kwon’s letter has sparked concerns about his ongoing fraud trial. Kwon was arrested attempting to board a private jet in Montenegro back in March with falsified passports. Since then, he’s been held in Montenegrin jail. His first bail attempt failed but was finally granted last week for €400,000 ($430,000). If Spajić leads parliament after next week’s elections, his connections with an internationally wanted man could spell trouble.
Politicians have taken the opportunity to voice concerns. “It’s not good for Montenegro if Spajić had contacts with Do Kwon, because the man is wanted by the US and South Korean authorities… We cannot become a breeding ground for global fraudsters, even if they use blockchain or anything else,” Abazović told media.
Milan Knežević, a leader of pro-Serbian coalition For the Future of Montenegro, has claimed that Kwon financed last year’s Europe Now campaign as well as the presidential elections held in April.
“The prosecution should inform the public about this letter. Serious doubts are being cast on the electoral process and we want to get to the end of the elections without such scandals,” Knezevic told media.
For his part, Spajić has denied these connections or funding. “Do Kwon is a fraudster who defrauded millions of people, including my friends and the company I worked for when we invested in this project in early 2018. Which is why we had the special satisfaction of reporting him to authorities,” Spajić said.
However, Abazović disputes this. According to him, Spajić never informed the Interior Ministry about Kwon’s location in Montenegro.
Kwon’s bail conditions require him to stay in his lawyer’s apartment in the country’s capital Podgorica until his trial is over.
Montenegro parliamentary elections take place on June 11.