Faruk Fatih Ozer, founder and CEO of the now-defunct Thodex cryptocurrency exchange, was arrested in the Albanian city of Vlore. Ozer fled after the collapse of Thodex in April 2021: he initially claimed that the stoppage of trading was caused by cyberattacks and that investors’ money was safe before disappearing. Almost immediately after, Turkish police arrested dozens of Thodex employees and confiscated the firm’s computers.
It was subsequently revealed that in April 2021, Thodex transferred about $125 million worth of bitcoins to the US-based cryptocurrency exchange Kraken. Considering the number of investors in Thodex who are left with nothing, this looks like outright theft, reports Pcgamer.com.
Crypto crime analysis firm Chain analysis specifically turned to Thorex in its 2021 review in the broader context of a $2.8 billion cryptocurrency scam this year. It would seem that a legitimate business has been created, it has been operating as usual for some time, but suddenly all the money was gone. This is a big scam.
“We should note that approximately 90% of the total value lost due to scams in 2021 may be due to one fraudulent centralized exchange, Thodex, whose CEO disappeared shortly after the exchange stopped users from withdrawing funds,” – according to the Chain analysis report. This equates to about $2.5 billion in cryptocurrencies.
However, other estimates given by the Turkish authorities are lower and, as with any cryptocurrency, it is difficult to even approximate what the true value of the lost money could have been. Some reports claim that Ozer escaped with about $20 million worth of cryptocurrencies, and whatever the total loss, he is not the only Thodex employee accused of wrongdoing.