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South Korean Court Dismisses Arrest Warrant for Do Kwon’s 'Key Aide' at Terra

The arrest warrant for Do Kwon’s head of business operations has been thrown out.

2 min read
Crypto and crime are too often linked. Image: Shutterstock

A judge in the Seoul Southern District Court in South Korea has dismissed the arrest warrant for Terraform Labs’ Head of General Business Operations Yoo Mo, citing a lack of necessity for his detainment.

According to local news reports, Yoo was a “key aide” to Terra founder Do Kwon, the latter of whom has an Interpol red notice on his name and is wanted for arrest in more than 194 countries for allegedly violating capital markets laws in South Korea. Yoo was also charged with violating the Capital Markets Act in the country.

Yoo was accused of deploying a bot program while at Terra that artificially inflated and deflated the price of Terra’s algorithmic stablecoin UST, which lost its peg to the dollar and led to the collapse of the Terra ecosystem back in May.

Despite these allegations, Yoo is no longer wanted for arrest, Korean media outlets SBS and Yonhap News have reported. 

In an emailed statement to Decrypt, a Terra spokesperson said: "Recent developments reaffirm that Terraform Labs and its stakeholders remain subjected to a highly politicized and erratic legal environment in South Korea." The spokesperson added that Terraform Labs "has been—and will continue to be—in contact with all government agencies that have asked to communicate."

The arrest warrant was notable because it was the first arrest of its kind in the fallout of Terra’s collapse. Do Kwon himself still remains at large, though the infamous founder said last month that he is not “on the run.”

On Wednesday, Kwon—who has been relatively quiet on Twitter since Terra’s crash—made an appearance on the social media platform to deny the reports that the 3,313 Bitcoin frozen by prosecutors in South Korea belonged to him.

“I don’t know whose funds they’ve frozen, but good for them, hope they use it for good,” Kwon wrote.

Meanwhile, South Korean officials have continued to take action against the Terra and LUNA founder, announcing Thursday that Kwon’s passport must be surrendered to authorities. If Kwon refuses, his passport will become void in two weeks’ time.

Editor's note: This article was updated to include comments from Terraform Labs.

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