Turkey’s police have arrested 62 persons as part of an investigation into the local crypto exchange Thodex, following thousands of criminal complaints filed by Turkish citizens who claimed they were scammed by the platform.
Prosecutors have issued arrest warrants for 78 people involved in the exchange of which 62 had so far been detained across the country. The effort was centred on Istanbul, but stretched across eight provinces.
The country’s Financial Crimes Investigation Board (MASAK) has launched a probe into the Founder and CEO Faruk Fatih Özer, all the while blocking all of the platform’s bank accounts, as reported by local news agency Anadolu Agency.
As reported, the Turkish platform abruptly halted trading on Wednesday citing an unspecified partnership transaction, spurring complaints from users who couldn’t access their assets.
Thodex said on its website it would be shut down for four to five days due to a sale process underway. Meanwhile, Istanbul police reportedly said Özer had flown to Albania’s capital Tirana on Tuesday.
Abdullah Usame Ceran, the lawyer who filed a criminal complaint against the platform’s founder, alleging “aggravated fraud,” said Thodex had 400,000 members, of which 390,000 were active.
Following extended issues with transactions, the platform released a series on statements, among others stating on Wednesday that transactions would resume after a five-day maintenance period. Thodex also dismissed “negative” media reports on the exchange as untrue, claiming that numerous banks and investment funds wanted to invest in the business.
On Thursday, the platform’s official Twitter account released a statement by Özer, in which the founder claimed that only 30,000 of its 700,000 users had experienced difficulties in accessing its funds.
Thodex’s last trading day saw the 24-hour trading volume totalling more than USD 585.5m worth of crypto, dominated by dogecoin (DOGE), at more than USD 305m, or about 52.2% of the total – compared to the second-placed tether (USDT) with the volume of nearly USD 73.9m.
This all comes just days after Turkey banned the use of crypto assets for payments, claiming that tokens entail significant risks due to volatile market values, irrevocable transactions and can be used to fund illicit behavior.
– Thodex Users File Complaints Alleging Fraud as CEO Flees the Country
– Turkey Bans Crypto Payments (UPDATED)
– The Case Of a Plunging Fiat Currency: Turkey’s Struggling Lira
– Turks Turn to Exploring Bitcoin, Ethereum, And Tether as Lira Plummets
– More S Korean Exchange Customers in Nervous Hunt for their Crypto
– Cryptopia Got Hacked While In Liquidation Due To a Hack
– Chaotic QuadrigaCX’s Finances Might Leave Traders Almost Out Of Pocket