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Interpol Red Notice Leads to Arrest of Crypto Exchange CEO – Here’s What You Need to Know

Faruk Fatih Ozer, the founder and former CEO of defunct crypto exchange Thodex, has been extradited to Turkey and detained by police upon arrival in Istanbul. Ozer was arrested in Albania last year after an Interpol red notice against him. Thodex had abruptly halted trading in April 2021, citing an unspecified partnership transaction, but users were unable to access their accounts or withdraw their money, leading them to file complaints. Prosecutors in Turkey issued arrest warrants for 78 people involved in the exchange, of which 62 were detained across the country. Ozer is sought on charges of fraud and founding a criminal organization, allegedly having fled Turkey with at least $2 billion worth of cryptocurrency stolen from Thodex. Meanwhile, cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology have seen a massive upswing in popularity in Turkey due to the country’s sky-high inflation and the steep devaluation of the lira. An estimate in a 2022 research report by the Turkish crypto exchange, Paribu, believes that there are at least 8 million people in Turkey engaged in crypto, with Turkey ranking 12th in Chainalysis’ 2022 Global Cryptocurrency Adoption Index, outperforming other major economies like the United Kingdom and Indonesia.

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