The founder of Turkish cryptocurrency exchange Thodex Fatih Özer was arrested in Albania after his disappearance in 2021 with funds belonging to about 400,000 users.
Following the arrest, the Turkish Interior Ministry said in a statement published on August 30, that the Interpol Division of the General Directorate of Security began extradition procedures.
If the extradition is successful, the CEO of Thodex will be prosecuted for gross fraud and the formation of a criminal organization.
According to the ministry, Ozer’s identity has been positively confirmed using biometrics after he was placed on the red notice wanted list.
How did the Thodex scam happen?
Özer is accused of disappearing about $2.7 billion in user funds in April 2021, when Thodex was considered one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the country. The exit scam was launched at a time when Bitcoin (BTC) and the general crypto market was on a bull run.
Above all, prior to Ozer’s disappearance, the exchange suspended the ability for clients to withdraw their funds without the platform providing any specific information.
Before nightfall, Thodex attracted investors by promising to distribute luxury cars through an advertising campaign featuring famous Turkish models. Interestingly, the exchange later posted a message that it needed five days to process an unspecified foreign investment.
Ozer’s affiliation with government officials
It is worth noting that Özer’s disappearance was surrounded by controversy after his photos appeared on the Internet with Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu and Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. Officers have since denied knowing the fugitive personally or professionally.
After the controversy, the Turkish government stepped up its warning about the risks associated with cryptocurrencies while securing the reins of the sector.
In addition, the Thodex IPO scam was ranked as the largest “rug pull” of the past year, which is a significant portion of the $2.8 billion lost due to these scams in 2021.
The CEO of the Thodex exchange emerged after he was arrested for defrauding investors of $2.7 billion first on Coinphony.