Crypto investors in tears as CEO of Turkish crypto exchange vanishes with $2 billion
It’s probably just another day in the crypto Wild West as the CEO of Thodex, a Turkish crypto exchange, allegedly carted away with up to $2 billion in customers’ funds.
According to a Bloomberg report, the Turkey-based crypto exchange halted trading activities yesterday, citing an “unspecified partnership transaction.” Nearly 400,000 customers have been locked out of their accounts and are unable to withdraw their funds. Furthermore, the company’s website has gone silent for several days, suggesting that executives may have absconded with their loot.
The exchange has been in operation since 2017. Recently, a statement was issued to customers explaining that services would be paused for about five working days. The message reassured users that there was no need to panic. However, at about the same time, customers began to complain about their inability to access their funds.
In a more recent report, it appears Faruk Fatih Ozer, the exchange’s CEO and founder has gone into hiding. Reports have it that Ozer has fled Turkey.
The affected customers, being represented by Oguz Evren Kilic, filed a legal complaint with authorities on Wednesday. Meanwhile, a prosecutor in Istanbul has also launched an investigation.
Recall that Turkish authorities are already frowning at the use of cryptocurrencies for payment. The latest development may give officials more reasons to impose a total ban on digital assets.