Authorities Detain 62 People in Turkey for $2 Billion Crypto Exchange Fraud

Turkish authorities have detained 62 people as part of a large-scale crypto scam investigation. Thodex, one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges in Turkey, went silent earlier this week after the company halted trading services and withdrawals.

According to the latest report published by the Associated Press (AP), the Thodex crypto exchange scam has affected nearly 391,000 customers. The total value of the lost crypto assets stands at around $2 billion.

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According to few Turkish media reports, Thodex owner, Faruk Fatih Ozer has already left the country. Turkish police and relevant authorities are now investigating the matter after receiving thousands of complaints from Thodex users who had lost access to their crypto assets.

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The central bank of the Republic of Turkey recently released a statement about cryptocurrency assets and mentioned that cryptocurrencies cannot be used as a mode of payment. The central bank also outlined that the financial services provider in the country will not be able to provide deposit and withdrawal services to crypto exchanges.

Local media reports in Turkey are linking the latest announcement by the Turkish central bank with the alleged exit scam of crypto exchange Thodex.

Crypto Market

The overall market cap of digital currencies took a major hit on Friday after the crypto market lost more than 10% of its value within a single day. Bitcoin, the world’s most valuable crypto asset, is down by more than 11% within the last 24 hours as its market cap dropped below $900 billion for the first time since 6 March 2021. As of writing, Bitcoin is trading near $49,000. The total market dominance of BTC stands at around 51%, its lowest level in nearly 3 years.

In March 2021, Bitcoin queries surged in Turkey amid a significant crash in Turkey’s national currency Lira. The Turkish Lira is currently facing a severe crisis as the currency has lost nearly 20% of its value within the last two months.