- CEO of the cryptocurrency exchange Thodex was extradited to Turkey from Albania, where he is accused of defrauding investors.
- In response to an Interpol red alert against him, Ozer was detained in Albania in August last year.
Turkish authorities deported the founder of the cryptocurrency exchange Thodex to Turkey, where he stands accused of defrauding investors. The bitcoin trader’s trading website mysteriously went offline in the spring of 2021, and Albanian police authorities seized him last year.
Faruk Fatih Ozer, the founder of Thodex, one of Turkey’s major cryptocurrency exchanges, was deported to Turkey and held by police upon arrival in Istanbul, according to state media Anadolu Agency on Thursday. He is accused of establishing a criminal organization and engaging in fraud.
Ozer was reportedly taken into custody by the Istanbul Airport Police Division as he arrived, according to a report by the Anadolu Agency. The 27-year-old man was then led into a police station, where he was probably going to get checked up physically.
Ozer departed Turkey two years ago following the unexpected closure of Thodex. The country’s cryptocurrency surge led to the addition of nearly 400,000 new members to the exchange. It is believed that he traveled to Albania with an estimated $2 billion in investor cash when he was last seen on camera leaving the airport in Istanbul.
The chief executive of Thodex was wanted with a red notice by Interpol after Turkey issued a global arrest order for him in April 2021. Ozer has been fighting for his custody in Albanian courts since he was arrested on August 30, 2022.
On September 2, the Elbasan Court of First Instance extended Ozer’s detention. On September 20, the Durres Court of Appeals upheld the decision. He was extradited to Turkey in November by the Elbasan court, and a few months later, the Tirana Supreme Court confirmed the conclusion of the Elbasan court to extradite him.
In Turkey, where cryptocurrency has been utilized as a hedge against inflation, the events surrounding Thodex have caused a commotion. Turkish officials have prosecuted 21 of the more than 60 people who were detained throughout the investigation in connection with the exchange. The prosecution is requesting prison sentences totaling thousands of years for the founders and executives on charges of participating in fraud and money laundering while carrying out an exit scam.