According to the CNBC report, a Turkish cryptocurrency exchange is offline, and its CEO has reportedly gone missing, leaving thousands of investors worried that their funds have been stolen. Thodex, a crypto firm based in Turkey, said its platform has been “temporarily closed” to address an “abnormal fluctuation in the company accounts,” according to a translated statement on its website. Local media reports say Faruk Fatih Ozer, Thodex’s CEO and founder, has flown to Albania, taking $2 billion of investors’ funds with him.
Turkish authorities issue an international warrant seeking Ozer’s arrest.
According to Anadolu Agency, Turkish authorities have already issued an international warrant seeking Ozer’s arrest. Police have detained 62 people in eight cities, including Istanbul, the state-run news agency said. Thousands of Thodex users have filed complaints against the company, with investors saying they cannot access their accounts and worry that their savings may be irretrievable. Some Turkish citizens have turned to crypto to protect their savings from skyrocketing inflation and the weakening of the national currency lira.
Turkey’s central bank bans the use of cryptocurrencies for purchasing goods and services.
As reported earlier, Turkey’s central bank recently banned the use of cryptocurrencies for purchasing goods and services. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called for swift regulation, warning of “pyramid schemes” emerging in the crypto markets. “Payment service providers will not be able to develop business models in a way that crypto assets are used directly or indirectly in the provision of payment services and electronic money issuance, and will not be able to provide any services related to such business models,” the central bank had noted. A growing boom in Turkey’s crypto market had gained recently, with investors hoping to gain from bitcoin’s rally and shelter against inflation.