broadcastingbusiness financefaruk fatih ozerGadgetGadgetsmass mediamass media in turkeyoguz evren kilicstate mediaturkish radio and television corporation

CEO of Turkish Crypto Platform Flees Country as Users Say They’re Locked Out

A Bitcoin sign is seen at the entrance of a cryptocurrency exchange office on April 16, 2021 in Istanbul, Turkey.

A Bitcoin sign is seen at the entrance of a cryptocurrency exchange office on April 16, 2021 in Istanbul, Turkey.
Photo: Chris McGrath (Getty Images)

Federal police in Turkey are investigating Thodex, a cryptocurrency trading platform that handles hundred of millions of dollars in trades every day, after users complained they’d been locked out of their accounts, according to new reports from Reuters and Turkey’s TRT World news service. CEO Faruk Fatih Ozer reportedly fled Turkey on Tuesday and 62 people connected to Thodex have reportedly been detained.

Investigators raided Thodex’s headquarters in Istanbul on Thursday after
“thousands” of people in Turkey filed criminal complaints, according to TRT World. Users have been unable to access money in their accounts over the past three days and federal authorities have issued at least 78 arrest warrants, according to Reuters.

The Thodex website is currently down, but an archived version of the site saved by the Wayback Machine includes a denial from the company that anything sketchy was happening. The statement even suggests that banks want to invest in Thodex, hinting that the outage was due to this development.

“For this process to be completed, transactions need to be halted and the sale process needs to be completed,” the company wrote.

From Reuters:

Istanbul police told Reuters that officers were at the company’s building carrying out the “necessary processes”.

Lawyer Oguz Evren Kilic said he was contacted by users on Wednesday and that they had filed a criminal complaint on behalf of several people in Ankara. He said thousands of others had also filed complaints across the country.

“It is not clear where this is headed. There have been thousands of criminal complaints made in many places around Turkey,” he told Reuters, adding that the platform had 400,000 users, 391,000 of whom were active.

While Reuters reports the CEO had fled to the city of Tirana, Albanian, apparently people at Thodex insist he will be returning to Turkey soon. He’s going to be returning to a lot of pissed off people.

Turkey banned using cryptocurrencies for payments just last week, though it’s not yet clear if the problems with Thodex have anything to do with that.

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