Typically, news about crypto scams appears every other day, but given the complexities involved in regulating this area , scammers usually manage to get away. But not when you’ve stolen an astonishing $2 billion from the people and a sovereign state is on a global hunt to find you.
This will be the story of 28-year-old Faruk Fatih Ozer , who ran the Turkish cryptocurrency exchange service Thodex . Ozer was recently arrested in Albania for bank exit fraud that affected over 391,000 depositors . Albanian police also confirmed the arrest, saying Ozer was arrested Tuesday at a hotel in Himare, a small town in southern Albania.
Turkey has an extradition treaty with the US and the authorities there have already started the process. Although this may take some time, as extradition is usually very long and involves many agencies, including the Department of Justice, the Court, and the Secretary of State.
The Minister of the Interior of the Republic of Albania, Mr. Bledar Chuchi, this morning, our Minister, Mr. He, conveyed to Suleiman Soil that the fugitive Faruk Fatih Ozer, the founder of Thodex, wanted on a red notice, was caught in Vlora, Albania, and his the identity was confirmed by the results of biometric studies. The procedure for the extradition of Fatih Ozer to Turkey was initiated by the Interpol department of the General Directorate of Security.
– Turkish regulators
Shortly before the shutdown , Thodex ran an ad campaign in which it announced that it would give away up to 2 million dogecoins (150 each) to users who signed up for their service.
Shortly after the ad campaign, users started experiencing some hiccups in their transactions. At that point, Thodex blamed it on a cyberattack , and operations were completely halted.
They soon issued a statement promising users to restart the service in 4-5 days and that some “big banks” were interested in investing in Thodex. Meanwhile, then-CEO Faruk Fatih Ozer fled with the entire $2 billion corps to Tirana in Albania.
After numerous complaints , the Turkish prosecutor’s office launched an investigation into the company, but soon realized that Ozer had fled Turkey by then.
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