Turkey issues warrant for crypto exchange CEO

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According to Financial Times, Turkey conducted a worldwide manhunt for the operator of one of the country’s largest blockchain exchanges after he ceased paying clients and fled.

According to the state-run Anadolu Agency, the Justice Ministry is requesting a so-called red notice in which Interpol will assist in locating, arresting, and returning Thodex Ceo Faruk Fatih Ozer from Albania to Turkey.

Turkish police arrested 62 suspects in eight towns, including Istanbul, where Thodex was headquartered, it added, adding that 16 others remained at large.

Ozer vowed to refund investors and to return to Turkey to face trial at a later date in a statement sent from an undisclosed place on Thursday. The government took steps to freeze the company’s accounts, and police searched the company’s Istanbul headquarters.

According to the Haberturk newspaper, losses could reach $2 billion, and a representative representing the plaintiffs said that the money spent by about 390,000 active users has been “irretrievable.”

Ozer has denied these estimates. Around 30,000 customers have been impacted, he said in a statement posted Thursday on the company’s website.

Thodex was a participant in the blockchain bubble that drew millions of Turks trying to safeguard their savings from massive inflation and an unpredictable economy. In March, inflation reached 16.2 percent, more than 3 times the central bank’s goal of 5%. The Turkish lira has depreciated 10% against the dollar this year, marking the currency’s nine straight years of decline.

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