Turkish police have detained 62 people in an investigation of local crypto exchange Thodex, which has been accused of fraud.
Turkey’s state-owned news agency Anadolu reported the news on Friday, saying prosecutors issued arrest warrants for 78 people who were found to be in contact with Thodex, and 62 have so far been detained across eight provinces.
Turkish prosecutors launched the investigation into Thodex on Thursday after a lawyer named Abdullah Usame Ceran filed a criminal complaint against Thodex founder Fatih Faruk Oze, alleging “aggravated fraud.”
Ceran alleges that Ozer has fled Turkey and that hundreds of millions of dollars may have been stolen. Ozer has fled to Tirana, Albania, according to Turkish police.
Thodex abruptly halted trading earlier this week. The move affected the exchange’s 390,000 active traders, according to Ceran.
Thodex’s website is currently inactive, but earlier this week, it reportedly said the exchange had temporarily closed to allow outside investment to “serve clients better” and that it would remain closed for five working days.
Thodex users have been unable to withdraw funds or access their accounts and say they may have been scammed.
Meanwhile, Turkey’s financial crimes investigation board MASAK has reportedly blocked Thodex’s bank accounts.
Ozer reportedly thought of giving himself up to authorities or committing suicide before fleeing the country, but both options meant clients’ funds would never be retrieved. “So I decided to stay alive and fight, work and repay my debts to you,” Ozer told Bloomberg. “The day I repay all my debt, I will return to my country and give myself in to justice.”
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