Albania to extradite cryptocurrency exchange founder to Turkey on 'fraud' charges

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Following the approval of an extradition decision by the judicial authorities in Albania against Faruk Fatih Özer, founder of the cryptocurrency exchange Thodex, efforts are underway to bring him to Turkey.

According to Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency (AA), Albania’s Ministry of Justice announced that the process of extraditing Özer has reached its final stage.

Özer is wanted in Turkey on charges of “forming and managing an organization for the purpose of committing a crime, fraud using information systems, banks or credit institutions as tools, fraud committed by traders or company executives and cooperative managers, and money laundering from the proceeds of crime.”

Özer, who was captured in Albania on August 30, 2022, will be brought to Turkey tomorrow.

What happened?

Faruk Fatih Özer founded a local cryptocurrency exchange in 2017 under the name of Koineks Teknoloji Inc.

Due to the problems encountered during cryptocurrency trading, the company’s name began to be tarnished in the market, and Özer founded Thodex in 2019 as a result. The promotion of the company was announced with the promise of free cryptocurrency and a Porsche car giveaway.

After a new regulation regarding cryptocurrency exchanges in Turkey, problems occurred in the Thodex application. Delays in money transfers and failed coin transfers during transactions drew the users’ reactions.

On April 19, 2021, no transactions could be made in the application. While discussions about the company continued, Özer closed his social media accounts and website.

On April 20, he escaped to Albania from İstanbul Airport. It was alleged that Özer left Turkey with 2 billion US dollars worth of cryptocurrency.

The number of people victimized by the company was recorded as 391,000. (TY/VK)