Turkey jails 6 in investigation of missing CEO of Thodex crypto exchange

Turkish authorities are advancing an investigation into local cryptocurrency exchange Thodex, which abruptly halted trading last week.

On Thursday, a Turkish court jailed six suspects awaiting trial, including siblings of the company’s missing CEO and senior employees, Reuters reported.

As part of an investigation, Interpol reportedly sent a red notification to Thodex CEO and founder Faruk Fatih Özer, who had allegedly flown to Albania. “If he gets caught with the red clue, we have extradition deals with a lot of these countries. If God wants him to be caught and sent back, ”said Home Secretary Suleyman Soylu.

Local authorities detained more than 83 people suspected of being involved in the case amid growing concerns that Thodex was a scam after the platform stopped withdrawals.

Some suspects indicated that Özer’s siblings – Güven Özer and Serap Özer – could have played an important role in Thodex’s operations, noting that both had significant crypto holdings, local Anadolu Agency news agency reports.

Güven Özer reportedly owns nearly 22 million Turscan liras ($ 2.7 million) on two major local crypto exchanges including BtcTurk and Paribu. Güven reportedly served as an active executive at Thodex, despite not having an official role with the company.

Serap Özer, the missing CEO’s sister, reportedly had more than 120 million liras ($ 14.6 million) in crypto transactions in her Binance account between 2018 and 2021. She claimed the account was not hers. Serap is said to have supervised the financial activities at Thodex.

As previously reported, Thodex’s missing CEO is said to have run off with a whopping $ 2 billion worth of crypto, but according to the latest reports, Home Secretary Soylu said the company’s portfolio totaled $ 108 million.

The news comes as the Turkish government solidifies its stance on crypto, with the country’s central bank officially banning crypto payments today. Another Turkish crypto exchange, Vebitcoin, also announced last week that it would cease operations amid employee arrests and fraud allegations.

Additional reporting by Erhan Kahraman.