Turkish Founder of Crypto Exchange Thodex was Arrested in Albania

Key Takeaways:

  • The founder of the cryptocurrency exchange Thodex, who fled Turkey and rendered customer funds unrecoverable, has been detained in Albania.
  • Interpol issued a red notice for Faruk Fatih Ozer on April 23, 2021.

According to the Turkish Interior Ministry, the founder and CEO of a Turkish cryptocurrency exchange who is accused of fleeing Turkey with the funds of his clients has been detained in Albania.

In April of last year, Turkey issued a global arrest notice for runaway businessman Faruk Fatih Ozer, who allegedly escaped with an estimated $2 billion in investor assets. An Interpol red notice, a global call to law enforcement to find and temporarily detain a person, was issued for Faruk Fatih zer.

Faruk Biometric data allowed authorities in Vlora, Albania, to positively identify Fatih zer. The General Directorate of Security’s Interpol Department started the process to extradite Fatih zer to Turkey.

He was sought after for his part in Thodex’s unexpected overnight disappearance, which prevented thousands of users from accessing their accounts.

A court hearing for zer is scheduled for the upcoming days, at which the “security measure” of 40 days in detention will be decided. Following that, the extradition to Turkey process will begin.

To entice investors, Thodex ran aggressive marketing initiatives. It had first committed to distributing high-end vehicles through a glitzy marketing campaign with well-known Turkish models.

Thodex, which had been in operation since 2017, abruptly stopped trading in April 2021, citing an unnamed outside investment that called for a four- to a five-day halt in trade.

A day later, zer said that hackers had forced the company to cease trading, but he stressed that investor funds were safe and vowed to do so soon.

Following a promotional campaign that saw Dogecoins traded for one-fourth of what they were going for on other exchanges, Thodex went dark.

However, the exchange restricted access to those investments and prohibited either the sale or exchange of coins for other cryptocurrencies.

Then, a picture of zer passing through a passport check at the Istanbul Airport on his route to an unidentified location was made public by Turkish security officials.

Despite the fact that zer had already fled to Albania at this point, the Turkish government was getting ready to deport him. But as the manhunt lasted several months, it turned out to be less than simple.

The surprising news that the prosecutor seeks over 40,000 years in prison for fraud and money laundering by a cryptocurrency corporation just broke in April. The company in question was Thodex, and its 28-year-old founder, Faruk Fatih Ozer, risked receiving a 40,000-year prison term if found out.