Authorities bitcoin in Albania have arrested the founder and CEO of the defunct Turkish cryptocurrency exchange Thodex, who allegedly fled the country with customer funds as the trading platform failed. Faruk Fatih Ozer was wanted for fraud according to an Interpol red notice.
Albania Prepares to Hand Over a Suspected Crypto Fraudster to the Turkish Judiciary
Faruk Fatih Ozer, a 27-year-old Turkish businessman who founded and operated the now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange Thodex, was detained by Albanian authorities. Since he reportedly fled to Albania with $2 billion of investors’ assets, Albanian law enforcement has been attempting to locate him. Approximately 400 thousand people are believed to have perished.
Ozer was captured in the city of Vlor, according to an announcement by the Turkish Ministry of Internal Affairs, cited by the Anadolu Agency and other Turkish media. Bledar uci informed his counterpart in Ankara, Süleyman Soylu, of the capture. His identity was verified using biometric information.
Ozer bitcoin vanished
in 2021 after the closure of his coin trading platform, which gained popularity during the crypto boom in Turkey, where many were attempting to protect their savings from the rapidly depreciating Turkish lira. Turkey issued an international arrest warrant for him in April of last year.
Turkish prosecutors are seeking thousands of years in prison for the founders and other members of Thodex’s executive team who are suspected of halting trading as part of an exit scam. They are accused of fraud and money laundering, with authorities claiming that their activities caused damages in excess of 350 million Turkish liras (approximately $20 million at the current exchange rate).
According to the Turkish interior ministry, Albania has already initiated the necessary extradition procedures for Ozer. The Daily Sabah reported, citing a statement by the Albanian city’s prosecutor Kreshnik Ajazi for the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, that he is currently being held in Elbasan (BIRN). Soon, Ozer is anticipated to appear in court.
In the course of the investigation in Turkey, more than sixty other Thodex-affiliated individuals have been detained. During the operation to apprehend Ozer, according to the Albanian police, a Tirana resident and a Durrs resident were detained to determine their relationship with the suspect. As evidence, portable computers, mobile phones, bank cards, and other items were seized.