In the latest twist to a cryptocurrency scandal that has rocked Turkey, a court in Istanbul on Wednesday ordered six people to be jailed pending trial, accused of helping a missing cryptocurrency executive who is suspected of perpetrating an $8 billion fraud. Police are still searching for 39-year-old CEO of Turkey’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange, who vanished along with tens of millions of dollars of investors’ assets, after his company, called “Ava Trade,” declared bankruptcy and stopped trading earlier this month.
Turkey is now holding six suspects linked to cryptocurrency exchange Thodex, which is accused of a scam. Turkish authorities and Interpol have expanded the search for the exchange’s CEO, who fled the country before closing the trading platform and preventing customers from withdrawing their money.
Search for CEO forcrypto-currency exchange Thodexexpands
A Turkish court has arrested six suspects in connection with cryptocurrency exchange Thodex on charges of withdrawal fraud, Reuters reported on Thursday.
The exchange abruptly halted its operations last week after its CEO, Faruk Fatih Ozer, fled the country to Albania. Customers have filed complaints against the exchange for not being able to log into their accounts and withdraw money.
A spokeswoman for the Istanbul Anadolu prosecutor’s office said that among the six detained suspects were a brother, a sister and high-ranking employees of the Lake company, and that they were awaiting trial. At least 83 people were arrested last week, but most were released. Seven people were released Thursday on judicial review.
Interpol has issued a red notice against the CEO of Thodex at Turkey’s request. Turkey has sent units to four countries to search the lake, including Albania, Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said in an interview with NTV this week:
If he gets caught with a red card, we have extradition treaties with most of these countries. God willing, he will be caught and brought back.
While users and the media claimed that Ozer had grabbed $2 billion in customer funds, Minister Soylu said the company had $108 million in its portfolio.
Thodex is not the only cryptocurrency exchange under investigation by Turkish authorities. Verbitcoin also abruptly stopped trading and is currently under investigation for fraud. Four people were arrested this week in connection with the Vebitcoin investigation.
Turkey’s central bank recently banned the use of cryptocurrencies as a means of payment, but said it has no intention of banning cryptocurrencies. The government is currently working on a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies.
You think Todex did the exit scam? Let us know your comments in the section below.
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