Turkish prosecutors are asking courts to jail suspected crypto scammers in the country for thousands of years, per available information.
According to reports from local media, the suspects are part of those involved in the $108 million scams involving the Thodex crypto exchange. The prime suspect in the case, Faruk Fatih Özer, founder and CEO of Thodex, is currently at large and declared wanted.
Thodex crypto exchange CEO is on the run
Last year, we reported that Thodex informed users that it was going offline for 4 – 5 days due to a sale process. The platform, which handles millions of dollars in transactions daily, was one of the major crypto platforms in the country.
Users expressed concerns on Twitter when they couldn’t access their accounts or withdraw their funds, leading to police raids all over the country. As a result, there were allegations that about $2 billion of investor money was lost. At that time, about 62 people were arrested and detained during the investigation process.
At the time, Özer claimed he only traveled to discuss deals with foreign investors and would soon return to Turkey. But prosecutors alleged that he fled to Albania and issued a red alert for his arrest through Interpol.
But it appears that efforts to arrest him remain abortive as he’s still at large. However, the Albanian authorities have arrested some people who allegedly provided shelter for the criminal mastermind.
Prosecutors continue case
Though the prime suspect is yet to be found, prosecutors are pressing on with the charges. The charges include fraudulent use of information systems, founding a criminal organization, and using bank or credit information systems as a tool.
If found, Ozer could face a jail term of 40,564 years upon indictment. While Chainalysis estimated that around $2 billion was lost, the indictment has revealed that the total loss due to the exchange collapse is $24 million (356 million lira).
Scams, hacks, and the crypto industry
While Thodex was just one of the several crypto scams that happened last year, the industry has witnessed several scams and hacks this year too.
Just recently, Ronin revealed that it was hacked for over $600 million. Apart from that, the space has recorded a number of mind-blowing exploits in recent weeks.
The prevalence of these harmful activities has continued to hamper the adoption of the crypto space and led to more calls for industry regulation.
Thus, with the recent slew of arrests and prosecution of criminal masterminds in the space, investors would have more confidence in the space as they would believe that their investments are being protected by the law, thereby boosting investors’ confidence and improving adoption.