Turkish Court Jails Thodex CEO’s Siblings in Crypto Exchange Probe

30 April 2021

Six people have been jailed pending trial in Turkey in connection with the probe into crypto exchange Thodex, which recently went offline with its CEO going missing.

  • A spokeswoman for the prosecutor’s office said CEO Faruk Fatih Ozer’s brother and sister and other senior employees were among the six jailed, according to a report by Reuters.
  • The police have detained at least 83 people in connection with the investigation over the last week, most of whom have been released.
  • Interpol issued a red notice for Ozer April 23, who fled to Albania shortly after Thodex ceased trading. An Interpol red notice is a request to law enforcement officials worldwide to locate and provisionally arrest a person pending extradition.
  • The exchange, which has 400,000 members, announced it was undergoing maintenance April 18-19, subsequently telling users it would be offline for five days.
  • Users filed a complaint against the exchange April 22 alleging hundreds of million of dollars had been stolen.
  • Suleyman Soylu, Turkey’s Minister of the Interior, said the company’s portfolio totaled $108 million.
  • Turkey has been tightening restrictions on the cryptocurrency industry of late, banning crypto as a means of payment effective today.
  • Prior to the ban, crypto use was soaring thanks in part to the Turkish lira facing significant outside selling pressure.
  • Another crypto exchange, Vebitcoin, has also found itself in the firing line of these legal and regulatory pressures. Vebitcoin informed users April 24 it was stopping all activity due to financial strain, state-run Anadolu news agency said.
  • Turkish authorities froze all bank accounts associated with Vebitcoin. Four of the company’s administrators and personnel have been detained.
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