Recently, one of the biggest Turkish cryptoexchanges abruptly stopped trading. Today it became known about the arrest of 62 people who are suspected of fraud in the form of exit scam for a large amount.
Turkish police are still investigating and detained 62 people from 8 provinces, requesting arrest warrants for 16 more people. Under threat, according to security officials, 391,000 clients of the Thodex exchange are under threat, and the amount of possible loss could amount to about $2 billion.
Thodex itself decided to stop work due to reports of possible police raids, stating in its Twitter account that transactions will not be available to customers for 4 to 5 days. Also, the Turkish crypto platform assured users that it will inform them about the status change during the entire period of the “forced pause”. However, after that, not a single message was received from Thodex representatives throughout the day.
Local media immediately suggested a possible exit scam from the leadership. To the community, this seemed only insinuations. At least before the news appeared on the network that the head of the exchange, Faruk Fatih Özer, had left the country, having flown to Thailand with 2 billion. In parallel with this event, a search began in the site's office, and charges were brought against Thodex.
Prosecutor of Istanbul said that the investigation took place due to complaints from users of the exchange. They claimed that they had lost access to their assets since rumors about the escape from the country of the head of the exchange floated on the network. The prosecutor's office also confirmed that the creator of Thodex left the country for Albania. Özer, in turn, claims that he left the country for work reasons to negotiate with foreign investors.
The head of the exchange broke a lengthy "silence" on the part of the trading floor, stating that they never exploited any of their 700,000 customers and did not intend to do so. He also recalled a cyberattack in 2018 in which the exchange lost over 25 million Turkish lira, the equivalent of $5 million. Since then, Thodex has strengthened its defenses, but recently faced similar "hesitations" again. At the same time, according to him, work is underway on an important contract, the negotiations on which last more than 3 months. According to Ozero, about 30,000 accounts were cyberattacked, after which their losses were fully reimbursed. He did leave the country on April 19, but will return to Turkey in the coming days.
Meanwhile, one of the Turkish authorities that fixes financial crimes in the country has already blocked the accounts of the crypto exchange. As part of a complaint by one of the Turkish lawyers, Abdullah Uzame Seran, he demanded to seize the platform's assets, including not only bank accounts, but also holdings, shares, as well as cars registered for the company and its head.