Turkish Crypto Exchange CEO Goes Missing and Offline

April 25, 2021

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Faruk Fatih Özer, CEO of Thodex, a Turkish crypto exchange, went missing after customers complained that hundreds of millions of dollars went missing.

Thodex was no longer open to Turkey’s cryptocurrency exchange on Wednesday, and error messages were flickering across customers’ phones. They also found out that Thodex had suspended all transactions, and later informed the police about it.

In return, Thodex traded over $585 million in cryptocurrencies, according to CoinMarketCap records, before the shutdown of transactions. A data site spokesperson informed CoinDesk on April 20 that trading data will be stopped at around 17:00 UTC (1 pm ET).

According to state news agency Anadolu, there were also about 400,000 customers, of which 390,000 traded actively.

While on Thodex’s page, exchange managers turned their social network accounts off and the customer service group of the platform is unavailable. The exchange website said there is no need for panic since the negative news on the internet was not valid. Meanwhile, Faruk Fatih Özer, Thodex and CEO, pulled down his Twitter account on Wednesday.

Average Turkish citizens invest in cryptography because here they want to cover their small funds against inflation. Mehmet told CoinDesk that they had to something about it because people would make losses, he included.

At the same moment, a prosecutor called Abdullah Usame Ceran filed a criminal law lawsuit against Ozer for fraud, according to state news service Anadolu Agency.

The Director, Capital Markets and Finance Law Board, Oğuz Evren Kılıç, informed CoinDesk, via his written statement, that Ozer had left Tuesday night according to local police. A day later, the exchange denied the fraud allegations.

The Mystery of Dogecoin

First, as he saw some cryptocurrencies like Dogecoin, the cryptocurrency developed as a prank in 2013. Mehmet thought something was wrong as he traded for a much lower price exchange than on other markets at night before the currency shutdown.

One Twitter user on April 17 found out that Thodex sold Dogecoin up to 30% lower than market prices. That was when Dogescoin’s price replaced XRP crypto assets (-3.92%) temporarily as the fourth-largest coin with global market capitalization on Monday a few days later. On April 19, the exchange revealed that it had been maintaining dogecoin purchases for a short time.

Only before the trade, Dogecoin accounted for about 53% of the $585 million market value of Thodex, compared to an appalling $10 million in bitcoin.

Change in the Company or Exit Scam?

The message on Thodex’s website states that trades were suspended while the exchange explores a possible relationship with unrevealed parties. According to the Turkish statement, Investing in our business for an extended period is the goal of the world-class banks and funds companies whose names we will reveal when the contract phase is complete and rendered a relationship proposition.

Ismail Hakki Polat, a professor at Kadir Has University in Istanbul, said the only possible inference based on the company’s announcement was that the shareholder arrangement of Thodex would be updated in line with the new owners.

According to his assertion, Thodex claimed to be the “first approved Turkish company worldwide in the industry” and a license “earned from the USA.”

Kılıç, which has offered legal advice to Thodex victims, claims clients have not contacted the exchange officials, and no consumer will withdraw their money or crypto so far. The customer has been entitled to withdraw his money or cryptography.

A New Twitter Handle and an Update

Thodex’s website corrected the message that the claims of users and the media were baseless on Thursday. Özer posted the comment on a new Twitter account.

The letter claims to have been written by Özer himself and says that an anomaly was discovered in business accounts during the alliance talks. In particular, 30,000 user accounts of around 700,000 have been considered suspect and have been cleared. This message is not acceptable.

Özer said that it has become impossible to pursue his commercial existence due to conflicts against him and his company.

 

 

 

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