The South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs posted a public notice on its website Wednesday announcing it would invalidate Terra creator Do Kwon's passport, advancing a move the government first said it was considering last month.
The government said the notice was being posted publicly due to an "inability to deliver" the passport return order. An attached PDF document added further detail, saying the move means Kwon might be rejected if he tries to apply for the reissuance of his passport.
"Our Department would like to send a 'Notice of Order for Return of Passport' to you by registered mail," the notice said. "... we inform you that the validity of your passports will be invalidated and administratively invalidated."
Normally the invalidation of a passport would mean Kwon can no longer leave South Korea. If he is not currently in South Korea, he would likely find it difficult to travel elsewhere. Officials gave Kwon 14 days from the notice's issuance to return the passport.
The news comes shortly after South Korean prosecutors told local media outlets that they had ordered the freezing of nearly $40 million worth of crypto assets they said were tied to Kwon.
However, Kwon tweeted later that he did not use the exchanges in question and the funds were not his.
He continued a recent trend of tweeting statements at odds with what Korean officials have said. He said he could not find an Interpol "Red Notice" on the intergovernmental police agency's public website after prosecutors told reporters one had been issued and denied claims that he was "on the run," despite an outstanding arrest warrant from South Korea and statements from officials in Singapore saying they could not locate him.
Terraform Labs, the Terra ecosystem token issuer, previously said in a statement that the arrest warrant was beyond the scope of prosecutors' authority, calling the investigation "highly politicized" and claiming it violated basic rights.
Terra, Kwon's brainchild, collapsed dramatically in May of this year, shedding close to $20 billion over the course of days.
Neither Kwon nor Terra immediately returned requests for comment.
UPDATE (Oct. 6, 2022, 01:20 UTC): Corrects that $40 million were frozen, not $40 billion.