Fatih Özer, the founder of the Turkish cryptocurrency exchange, Thodex, was detained in Albania after going missing in 2021 with the funds of almost 400,000 investors. The General Directorate of Security’s Interpol Department has begun the extradition process following the arrest, according to a statement released by the Turkish Interior Ministry on August 30. The CEO of Thodex will face charges of aggravated fraud and establishing a criminal organisation if the extradition is successful. The government claims that after being added to the wanted list under the red notice, Zer’s identification was successfully verified using biometrics.
In April 2021, Thodex was one of the largest cryptocurrency trading platforms in the country, and he was accused of stealing $2.7 billion in user funds. When the exit fraud started, Bitcoin (BTC) and the crypto market as a whole were going through a bull run.
Notably, the exchange had stopped allowing users to withdraw their money prior to Zer’s disappearance, with the company providing no specific details.
Before going out of business, Thodex enticed investors by promising to sell high-end vehicles through a marketing campaign that included well-known Turkish models. Fascinatingly, the exchange released a note later that day saying that it would take five days to handle an unnamed outside investment.
It is worth noting that zer’s disappearance was clouded by controversy because photos of him with Turkey’s Interior and Foreign Ministers surfaced online.Since then, the authorities have denied having any personal or professional ties to the fugitive. Following the incident, the Turkish government stepped up its warnings about the dangers of cryptocurrencies while ensuring that the market would be controlled.