- Prosecutors investigate Thodex CEO Faruk Fatih Özer after he vanished and transactions were halted
- 390,000 users concerned they won’t have access to their money
- Latest 24-hour trading volume on the platform was more than $538 million
Crypto investors in Turkey are crying foul as one of the largest exchanges in the country goes dark and the CEO seems to have disappeared.
Users were unable to access the Thodex exchange on Wednesday, receiving error messages as they tried to log in.
In a statement, the company confirmed something was up. Thodex said all transactions had been halted to evaluate a partnership offer. The company said that process would take about four to five business days and promised to update users regularly.
But that halt prompted concern among the platform’s more than 390,000 active users about whether they would be able to access their funds.
Ramping up concern, 27-year-old founder and CEO Faruk Fatih Özer quickly deleted his public Twitter account. Reuters also reported Istanbul police say he flew to the Albanian capital on Tuesday.
Authorities have also been unable to locate Özer after a picture circulated on social media which allegedly showed him at a passport control point at the Istanbul Airport on Wednesday.
Data from CoinMarketCap shows the 24-hour trading value on the platform was more than $538 million on its last day before the halt.
Thodex posted a new statement from its CEO Thursday telling users “there is no cause for concern” and that “negative news on the internet” was not true.
The company claimed it had detected “abnormal fluctuation in the company accounts” and that transactions had been halted to “determine the reasons and sources”.
Özer also confirmed allegations that he had left the country saying he had traveled abroad on Tuesday for “final meetings with investors”.
The Turkish financial crimes investigation board MASAK said it blocked all of Thodex’s financial accounts on Wednesday and police searched the company’s headquarters in Istanbul Thursday.
Lawyer Oguz Evren Kilic told Reuters he is representing several people in Ankara and he “will file a case with the consumer court right away” in addition to the criminal complaints.
This scandal comes after Turkey’s Central Bank banned cryptocurrencies in the country last week, effective April 30.
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