Four arrested after Turkish exchange Vebitcoin closes its doors

With a nationwide ban on cryptocurrency looming, multiple Turkish exchanges have now been investigated, with four employees of the recently closed Vebitcoin exchange arrested this morning on allegations of fraud.

Last night, Vebitcoin announced it would cease operations in a brief statement posted on its website, claiming that unspecified financial pressure led to the decision – possibly triggered by an unusually high number of withdrawals leading up to the upcoming cryptocurrency ban. in Turkey.

“We have decided to discontinue our operations to comply with all regulations and claims,” ​​the announcement was in part.

The exchange was one of the largest in Turkey with nearly $ 60 million in daily volume, with Bitcoin accounting for half of the trading activity.

This morning, Muğla Chief Prosecutor Mehmet Nadir Yağcı announced in a statement to local media that four workers have been detained by law enforcement officials on allegations of fraud.

“Following the searches and seizures carried out at the company’s headquarters and at some addresses, 4 people, who are company directors and employees, were detained. executed in a versatile and meticulous way. “

MASAK, Turkey’s financial crime enforcement agency, is currently investigating.

The arrests follow a similar pattern seen in the aftermath of fellow exchange Thodex’s closure. Thodex announced a cessation of all trade amid reports of a police raid and that the stock exchange founder had fled to Albania. Police subsequently issued more than 75 arrest warrants and detained 62 in connection with a possible exit scam.

The arrests and closures come after a surprising “dictation” from the newly appointed governor of Turkey’s central bank effectively banning cryptocurrencies in the country, set to go into effect April 30. The ban has become a hot button issue as opposition leaders have expressed support for crypto.