Not long after Turkish Central Bank banned the utilization of crypto payments in Turkey, Turkish Thodex crypto exchange website has gone dark and the CEO and founder Faruk Ozer has fled the country with a reported 2 billion USD of investors assets.
The Thodex website went dark after posting a mysterious message saying it was suspending trading for five days on Wednesday because of an unspecified outside investment. Turkish security officials then released a photo of Thodex founder Faruk Fatih Ozer going through passport control at Istanbul airport on his way to an unspecified location. As per local media reports, the founder in his late 20s had flown either to Albania or Thailand.
According to Data from CoinMarketCap, Thodex was trading more than $585 million in crypto on its exchange.
HaberTurk and other media said Thodex shut down after running a promotional campaign that sold Dogecoins at a big rebate — but did not allow investors to sell. Reports said the website and the entire exchange had shut down while holding at least $2 billion from 391,000 investors.
“The victims are panicked,” investors’ lawyer Oguz Evren Kilic was quoted as saying by HaberTurk. “They are lodging complaints at prosecutors’ offices in the cities they reside.” Prosecutors launched an investigation into the businessman on charges of “aggravated fraud and founding a criminal organization,” the private DHA news agency said.