Cryptocurrencies: arrest in Albania of the founder of the Thodex platform

“I’ll be back in a few days,” he promised before disappearing: the founder of the Thodex cryptocurrency exchange platform, suspected of escaping Turkey last year with the assets of his clients, was arrested in Albania. Faruk Fatih Ozer’s latest image shows a young businessman going through passport control at Istanbul Airport on April 20, 2021, wearing a black sweater and surgical mask on his way to an unknown destination.

“The Minister of the Interior of the Republic of Albania announced in the morning [mardi] Interior Minister Suleiman Soylu Wants Fugitive Thodex Founder Faruk Fatih Ozer With Red Notice [d’Interpol]was arrested in Vlora, Albania,” the Turkish Interior Ministry said in a statement. “His identity was confirmed by biometric tests. […] Extradition procedures to Turkey have begun,” the ministry added.

On April 23, 2021, Turkey requested the issuance of an international arrest warrant for Faruk Fatih Ozer, suspected by Turkish authorities of having fled to Albania with $2 billion in assets from almost 400,000 users. Thodex suspended operations two days earlier after publishing a cryptic report that it was taking five days to process an unspecified outside investment.

Luxury cars and dogecoin discounts

In a message posted on the company’s official Twitter account on April 22, 2021, two days after leaving Turkey, Faruk Fatih Ozer denounced the “baseless accusations” against him. The under-30 entrepreneur explained that he had been abroad to meet with investors. “I will return to Turkey in a few days and will cooperate with the judiciary so that the truth comes out,” he promised then, before his trail disappeared for almost a year and a half.

Thodex ran a major publicity campaign to attract investors, promising some of them to offer luxury cars. The platform has also made impressive discounts on dogecoin, a cryptocurrency originally parody but has since been inflated by interest in, among other things, multibillionaire and Tesla boss Elon Musk. Sixty-two people associated with the company were arrested in April 2021 in eight Turkish cities, including Istanbul.

A number of countries, in particular the United States, have expressed their desire to strengthen the regulation of the cryptocurrency market, believing that the same laws should apply there as in other financial markets.

A growing number of Turks are turning to cryptocurrencies in an attempt to protect their savings from a sharp devaluation of the Turkish lira and inflation approaching 80% year on year. As a result of President Erdogan’s unorthodox monetary policy, the Turkish currency has lost almost 27% of its value against the dollar since Jan. 1 after its value fell by 44% in 2021.


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