Amid the ongoing manhunt for Terraform Labs co-founder and CEO Do Kwon, South Korean authorities have spread out their investigations to target other Terra executives. Prosecutors issued an arrest warrant for co-founder Daniel Shin and seven other engineers and investors of the firm following suspicion of gaining illegal profits before the massive collapse of the Terra ecosystem.
The Seoul Southern District Prosecutors Office in South Korea suspected that Shin possessed Terra (LUNA) tokens, which were pre-issued without the public knowledge of investors. In doing so, Shin allegedly bagged profits worth 140 billion won (roughly $105 million) by selling the pre-issued tokens during the bull market.
Arrest warrants were also sought for three Terraform Labs investors and four engineers responsible for TerraUSD (UST) and LUNA initiatives, confirmed local media Yonhap News Agency. On Nov. 19, South Korean authorities seized assets worth over $104 million from Shin under the same suspicion of making unfair profits.
At the time, Shin’s attorney maintained the counter-narrative stating that “Reports that CEO Shin Hyun-seong sold Luna at a high point and realized profits or that he made profits through other illegal methods are not true.”
Speaking against the arrest warrant, Shin pointed out:
“I left (Terraform Labs) two years before the collapse of Terra and Luna, and have nothing to do with the collapse.”
The seizure of funds aimed to minimize further losses for investors in case Shin decided to dispose of the stolen funds. While Kwon maintains that he’s not on the run from South Korean authorities, 4,000 members of a retail investor group are attempting to track down the fugitive’s whereabouts.
On Oct. 6, South Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs ordered Kwon to surrender his passport, which, if not done, would result in the permanent cancellation of his passport. The deadline has passed since.
A local report from South Korea claimed that prosecutors obtained evidence regarding Kwon’s order to manipulate the price of Luna Classic (LUNC). However, a Terraform Labs spokesperson dismissed the allegations when speaking to Cointelegraph, highlighting their disappointment in seeing “the Korean prosecutors continue to try to contort the Capital Markets Act to fit their agenda and push baseless claims.”
Unconfirmed reports suggest that Kwon moved from South Korea to Singapore before ultimately transitioning to Dubai, United Arab Emirates.