Nearly 400,000 users of a Turkish crypto exchange fear millions of dollars may be stolen after its CEO abruptly fled the country, reports say
- About 400,000 users of a Turkish crypto exchange have filed a criminal complaint against its CEO.
- They fear that investments worth thousands of dollars may be missing after its website shut down.
- CEO Faruk Fatih Ozer flew out of Istanbul on Wednesday.
- For more stories visit Business Insider.
Several users of Turkish cryptocurrency exchange Thodex fear their investments worth millions of dollars may be missing after being unable to access their accounts or withdraw their money from the platform.
A lawyer representing them filed a criminal complaint against its CEO on Wednesday, according to multiple reports, after Thodex posted a statement on its website that says it would be closed for four to five days to evaluate a partnership offer.
"World-renowned banks and funds, whose names we are going to announce when the agreement process is completed, have been wanting to invest in our company and proposed a partnership for a long time," the company said in a statement.
"For this process to be completed, transactions need to be halted and the sale process needs to be completed."
Many users tweeted they were unable to access their accounts and were worried they may be victims of a scam, Reuters reported, citing Turkish media outlets. Oguz Evren Kilic, a lawyer, said he was contacted by the users on Wednesday and a criminal complaint has been filed on behalf of them all.
Thodex had 400,000 users, of which 390,000 were active, according to Kilic. He told Bloomberg that CEO Faruk Fatih Ozer flew out of Istanbul via a commercial flight on Wednesday evening and hasn't responded to multiple phone calls.
A photo of Ozer departing from Istanbul has been published by Turkish news outlet Demiroren.
Thodex last month promoted a campaign to boost its user numbers by announcing a giveaway of 4 million Dogecoins. But several users tweeted they hadn't received the meme currency after all, according to Bloomberg.
A public prosecutor in Istanbul has launched an investigation into Thodex, according to Anadolu Agency. The company's website currently only displays a statement about its claimed sale process. It also tells users not to fall for "negative news on the internet" about Thodex.
Turkey only last week banned the use of cryptocurrencies effective April 30, saying they may cause non-recoverable losses for parties involved. Under new rules, citizens can still hold crypto, but can't use it to make payments towards goods and services.
Insider was unable to contact Ozer for comment.
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