Turkish crypto exchange CEO reportedly flees with assets worth $2 billion

nanoguy

Posts: 774   +12
Staff member
What just happened? The day before it halted all transactions, Turkish cryptocurrency exchange Thodex handled a volume of around $538 million. Now its CEO is the subject of an international manhunt and is suspected of stealing $2 billion worth of crypto assets from Thodex users.

Cryptocurrencies have had a tumultuous evolution, but over the last few years they've reached important milestones towards their validation as a legitimate fiat alternative. A notable example is the public listing of Coinbase, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, as is the adoption of certain cryptocurrencies as a payment option for platforms like PayPal.

However, most people are still put off by the lack of governmental safeties and controls, as well as the greed-fueled enthusiasts that have turned them into speculative assets and continue to bite into consumer hardware availability in their quest to make a profit on mineable coins such as Ethereum.

It also doesn't help that fraudsters and scammers are flocking to crypto for a feeding frenzy. This week, a Turkish exchange called Thodex was abruptly taken offline and its CEO, Faruk Fatih Ozer, had reportedly gone missing, an event that has left 400,000 users worried that they won't be able to recover their funds, totaling over $2 billion.

A lawyer immediately filed a criminal complaint against Ozer, alleging the latter has fled to Albania and left Thodex users without the ability to access their digital assets. Today, Turkish police conducted raids with warrants to arrest no less than 78 suspects, after previously searching the company's offices in Istanbul.

Ozer denied the accusations on Twitter, and promised that user access to funds on Thodex would be restored as soon as possible. He explained the reason for halting trading and withdrawals on the platform was that the company has to investigate a large suspicious transaction involving 30,000 accounts. The executive also noted the company is still recovering from several cyberattacks, one of which burnt a $6 million hole in its coffers.

Turkey's Financial Crimes Investigation Board (MASAK) is currently investigating the matter, and Istanbul police have requested the extradition of Ozer from Albania.

Permalink to story.

 

wiyosaya

Posts: 5,952   +4,207
If cryptocurrency transactions are untraceable, I think this kind of thing is unavoidable.
 

terzaerian

Posts: 926   +1,325
If cryptocurrency transactions are untraceable, I think this kind of thing is unavoidable.
Well, they aren't. Not with BTC, at any rate. Monero is another story, but if he's trying to move funds from a known BTC wallet somewhere to trade for Monero, whoever is watching those wallets will know it immediately.

There is a saying: "Not your keys, not your coin." Any crypto kept on a third-party service can be taken from you - the same way your fiat left in a bank can be taken from you. Centralized exchanges are best used as an offramp for your fiat to acquire crypto, and anything you buy on there you should try and get in a wallet where you are sole custodian of the private keys. I hope the users are able to recover their funds, and that Ozer either proves he's acting in good faith, or faces justice.
 

PEnnn

Posts: 628   +612
Somebody remind me, how many times has this happened the last 5 years or so?? Quite often it seems.

And the best part?? Thieves need no bags to carry that humongous loot. Untraceable is good for thieves too!!
 

ypsylon

Posts: 355   +274
Of course crypto-exchange-scammers are known factor in crypto currency landscape for 2 decades. In my honest opinion: only utter [put some colorful description] hold any kind of assets in on-line only wallet.

However, in this case don't jump to conclusion too quickly (I'm not of Turkish ancestry). As of this week cryptocurrencies are illegal in Turkey. You can end up in jail with long sentence just for holding any amount, not to mention being CEO of the biggest crypto exchange in the country. You're gov enemy #1.

That what criminals in the governments do. Eliminating competition is of utmost importance. Turkish lira is worth $hit so people exchanged it into BTC at an alarming rate. Then dictator-criminal-in-chief Erdogan said: Enough. Lock them up... and they do just that. That what police state is for.

Not defending the bloke. If he stole, feed him to the sharks and burn him at the stake afterwards, but there is always second side to every story.
 

R00sT3R

Posts: 431   +1,140
I hope this has wiped out every single one of those scum miners....corrupt, thieving CEO's and greedy parasite 'investors'. They deserve each other.
 

umbala

Posts: 360   +478
All these articles keep referencing the fact that some companies like PayPal and Tesla now accept payment using crypto-currency and it somehow makes the whole crypto craze more legit and trustworthy. This is complete nonsense. It's all a bunch of greedy companies who can afford to lose a few hundred million or even a few billion in case the whole thing goes bust. They're just trying to get in early (well, maybe not that early now) in hopes of hitting it big by waiting for the value to balloon further. At some point one or more of these big players will want to cash out and at that point the whole thing may come crashing down as all the rats will try to leave the sinking ship. We've seen this many times before, but people never learn from it.
 

brucek

Posts: 805   +1,109
TechSpot Elite
Crypto may be untraceable but humans are not. If law enforcement does not get him, someone worse might. Does he even know who all the people he has stolen from are? He probably doesn't know them, but they sure know him now...
 

Srhnd

Posts: 12   +20
Of course crypto-exchange-scammers are known factor in crypto currency landscape for 2 decades. In my honest opinion: only utter [put some colorful description] hold any kind of assets in on-line only wallet.

However, in this case don't jump to conclusion too quickly (I'm not of Turkish ancestry). As of this week cryptocurrencies are illegal in Turkey. You can end up in jail with long sentence just for holding any amount, not to mention being CEO of the biggest crypto exchange in the country. You're gov enemy #1.

That what criminals in the governments do. Eliminating competition is of utmost importance. Turkish lira is worth $hit so people exchanged it into BTC at an alarming rate. Then dictator-criminal-in-chief Erdogan said: Enough. Lock them up... and they do just that. That what police state is for.

Not defending the bloke. If he stole, feed him to the sharks and burn him at the stake afterwards, but there is always second side to every story.
This is misinformation.
It is not legal to make payments with it for actual goods and services. But buying crypto assets and holding them is not illegal.

Also BTC came in 2010. So 2 decades of cryptocurrency scammers? You know 2 decades is 20 years right?
 

fps4ever

Posts: 669   +875
EXACTLY.

We invented thievery and getrichquick schemes back in 2017 when the cryptos exploded. Before then, humanity had never faced such issues before. EVER

Every time we read these articles, and there are many of them we also get these "strawman" and "whataboutism" excuses by fan boys. It must really get exhausting. 😉
 

Strawman

Posts: 334   +207
Every time we read these articles, and there are many of them we also get these "strawman" and "whataboutism" excuses by fan boys. It must really get exhausting. 😉
Fanboys of what?

I'm saying there is no indication of a correlation between cryptos and thievery. You are saying there is (assuming you agree with the reply I commented on). Great, prove it. I wish you luck
 

fps4ever

Posts: 669   +875
Fanboys of what?

I'm saying there is no indication of a correlation between cryptos and thievery. You are saying there is (assuming you agree with the reply I commented on). Great, prove it. I wish you luck

Proof is in what we keep reading bout. No luck needed. The way crypto is set up and lack of regulation makes it a haven for crooks. Try and prove me wrong on that. At least banks will cover you if you can prove theft and return your money, plus most are required to be FDIC insured. If you can't tell the difference that is on you. Again strawman argument.
 

NightAntilli

Posts: 611   +748
Proof is in what we keep reading bout. No luck needed. The way crypto is set up and lack of regulation makes it a haven for crooks. Try and prove me wrong on that. At least banks will cover you if you can prove theft and return your money, plus most are required to be FDIC insured. If you can't tell the difference that is on you. Again strawman argument.
You're not going to find what you're not looking for. If all you do is look for crypto scams, and never look at banking scams, you're going to have a skewed view.

"According to the report JP Morgan, specifically had been fined for moving capital in the name of individuals who are responsible for stealing public funds in Malaysia, Venezuela and the Ukraine."
And
"Furthermore, in February of 2019, The United Nations Office on Drug and Crimes reported that over a trillion dollars are illicitly funneled through the traditional banking system every 365 days."


And then remember that the WHOLE crypto market is not even 2 Trillion. So really, you should focus where the problem is; the current existing financial system.

And some more articles;
https://www.fintechfutures.com/2020...nks-make-up-half-of-2020s-11-39bn-fine-total/
https://www.arachnys.com/2020s-largest-aml-fines-show-a-troubling-common-thread/

Regulation doesn't do anything, especially when banks can pretty much print as much money as they want.

Crypto is a lot safer than the traditional system, if you navigate it properly. You don't actually need centralized exchanges.