Thodex founder becomes sole suspect at large
Faruk Fatih Özer, the founder and CEO of Thodex, has remained the sole suspect on the run in the judicial investigation into the cryptocurrency exchange platform.
Rana Azap, an accountant who worked for Koineks, the company behind the Thodex exchange platform, surrendered to the police in Istanbul on May 18 after she was identified as a suspect, according to a Demirören News Agency report.
While denying any wrongdoing during her work, she alleged that her fiancee also lost access to his Dogecoin account of 50,000 Turkish Liras (nearly $6,000) on the Thodex network after it went off abruptly on April 19.
She was released by a court in Istanbul under judicial control.
A software developer was also briefly detained and released after interrogations at the anti-cybercrime police unit and a prosecution office on May 18.
In total, six suspects, including Özer’s sister and brother, have been arrested. Other 36 suspects were released pending trial.
The wife of Özer’s older brother, Zuhal Özer, was also detained yesterday in the Aegean resort town of Kuşadası.
Özer fled to Albania after the Thodex website abruptly went offline on April 19, effectively preventing access to nearly 400,000 customer accounts.
He is believed to have transferred cryptocurrency assets worth $108 million to unknown accounts, according to the Turkish Interior Ministry.
İlker Baş, the founder of another Turkish cryptocurrency platform called Vebitcoin, his wife and two employees were also arrested after the platform halted its operations on April 23. Baş was accused of making fraudulent XRP altcoin transactions worth over $24 million from customer accounts to other accounts in a month.
The Central Bank’s ban on using cryptocurrencies for making payments, which was introduced in response to claims that such transactions are too risky, took effect on April 30.
On May 4, Turkey’s Financial Crimes Investigation Board (MASAK) released a guide for crypto asset service providers. Under the guidelines, crypto exchange platforms are entitled to verify the identities of subscribers, to report suspicious transactions and high-volume trading.