Digital Assets: Chief Of Turkish Crypto Exchange Thodex On The Lam, Allegedly With $2B
According to reports, Istanbul police claim that Thodex founder and CEO Özer had flown to Albania’s capital Tirana on Tuesday.
Turkish crypto exchange Thodex has gone dark and its CEO Faruk Fatih Ozer is missing. Ominously, according to local media reports, Istanbul police are of the view that Ozer has hot-footed it to Albania, taking $2 billion of investors’ money with him. (CNBC)
Turkish security officials are said to have released a photograph of Ozer going through passport control at Istanbul airport on his way to an unspecified location.
Meanwhile, Turkish police have arrested 62 persons in an investigation emanating from thousands of criminal complaints filed by irate investors against Thodex. Warrants for another 16 persons are still outstanding.
A report in CryptoNews claims the country’s Financial Crimes Investigation Board (MASAK) has launched a probe into Faruk Fatih Özer, and blocked the platform’s bank accounts, quoting a report by local news agency Anadolu Agency.
The same agency reported that Turkish authorities have now issued an international warrant seeking Ozer’s arrest – the Justice Ministry is seeking a red notice under which Interpol would help find and bring back Ozer from Albania to Turkey.
The Thodex exchange itself has issued a notice saying its website would be shut down for four to five days as a sale process was underway, according to CryptoNews. However, CNBC said the platform had been temporarily closed due to an “abnormal fluctuation in the company accounts.”
Bloomberg said Ozer had issued a statement from an unknown location on Thursday promising to repay Thodex investors and to return to Turkey to face justice at a later date.
The Turkish central bank has banned the use of cryptocurrencies for the payment of goods and services effective April 30.
Related Story: India Plans To Criminalize Crypto-Assets (Reuters)
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