Turkey issued an international arrest warrant on Friday for the founder of a cryptocurrency exchange who fled with a reported $two billion in investors’ assets, state media reported.
Police force besides detained 62 people in raids over their declared links to Thodex, the company headed past the fugitive businessman Faruk Fatih Ozer.
He is being sought on charges of “fraud by using information systems, banks or credit institutions as a tool and founding a criminal arrangement”, the Anadolu news agency reported.
Turkish security officials on Thursday released a photograph of Ozer going through passport command at Istanbul airport on his way to an undisclosed location.
Security sources later confirmed that Ozer—said to be 27 years one-time—has been in Albania since Tuesday.
The justice ministry has started legal proceedings to seek his arrest and extradition from the Albanian capital Tirana, Anadolu reported.
Interior Government minister Suleyman Soylu spoke past phone with his Albanian counterpart about the instance, the agency added.
The Thodex exchange suspended trading afterward posting a mysterious message on Wednesday proverb information technology needed five days to deal with an unspecified outside investment.
Media reports said the commutation shut downward while belongings at least $ii billion from 391,000 investors.
Freeze on banking company accounts
The 62 suspects were apprehended in simultaneous raids carried out in eight cities including Turkey’s primary hub Istanbul, Anadolu reported.
Police raided the company’s headquarters on the Asian side of Istanbul and seized computers and digital materials, printing reports said.
Authorities also confiscated Ozer’s 31 million lira ($3.seven million) in banks, Soylu said.
He said the financial scale of the fraud remained unknown for now.
“Nosotros will see the ramifications in the coming days … God willing, he will be captured and returned to Turkey.”
Police accept issued abort warrants for sixteen other people, Anadolu said, without elaborating. There was no immediate information nigh those beingness held.
A lawyer for the investors, Oguz Evren Kilic, said Fri that the investigation into Thodex “is deepening”.
“Hundreds of thousands of users cannot get admission to their digital wallets. The situation will become more than serious unless a concrete stride is taken” by Thodex, he told AFP by telephone.
Kilic said his clients have already lodged complaints at the prosecutor’s part in Istanbul and other cities.
In a bulletin posted on the company’s official Twitter business relationship on Thursday, Ozer slammed the “groundless allegations” confronting him.
He said he was abroad for meetings with foreign investors and would return abode “in a few days and cooperate with judicial government so that the truth can come out”.
‘I’1000 begging yous, help’
The number of complaints against Thodex has increased past more than one,160 pct over the week to April xx compared to the previous calendar week, co-ordinate to Turkish customer complaint website Sikayetvar.
I investor who reached Sikayetvar said: “I have been unemployed for a year. I trusted Thodex and invested everything I have… I can’t sleep or swallow. I am begging you, please help.”
Another said: “Why is Thodex’s CEO silent? Why are they victimising people? Are you lot making fun of us?”
Growing numbers of Turks are turning to cryptocurrencies in a bid to shield their savings in the confront of a sharp decline in the value of the Turkish lira and loftier inflation.
The Turkish crypto market place remains unregulated despite growing scepticism from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government about its safety.
Turkey’s fundamental banking concern said final week information technology will ban the use of cryptocurrencies in payments for goods and services starting from Apr 30.
Information technology warned that cryptocurrencies “entail significant risks” because the marketplace is volatile and lacks oversight.
© 2021 AFP
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