Turkey detains 62 people in cryptocurrency fraud probe, CEO denies charges
Turkish police apprehended 62 people as part of an investigation into a possible cryptocurrency scam after the Thodex trading platform suddenly suspended operations this week and its CEO left the country.
The people were detained after prosecutors issued arrest warrants for 78 people in Istanbul and seven other provinces, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Friday. The company’s founder and CEO, Faruk Fatih Özer, flew to Albania on Tuesday, the Istanbul police said.
Thodex said on Wednesday it had suspended operations for four to five days due to talks with possible partners, including a globally renowned bank, and for maintenance. Thousands of people have filed criminal complaints saying they believe they have been scammed.
Turkey's Justice Ministry has issued an Interpol red notice for Özer and requested that Albania hand him over, Anadolu reported.
Özer said on Thursday that he would return to Turkey after final talks with investors to help the authorities with their investigation and clear his name. Thodex had suspended the platform after technicians discovered abnormal activity in company accounts and the 30,000 people who had filed complaints would be reimbursed, he said in a statement on its website.
MASAK, Turkey’s financial crimes investigation unit, blocked Thodex’s accounts on Wednesday and began a probe, the Hürriyet newspaper and other local media reported.
Thodex has urged its customers to be patient, saying negative reports on the internet were untrue and that they would be kept up to data.
Trading volume on Thodex totalled $585.5 million on its most recent day of operations, according to Coinmarketcap.