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Turkish police seek 78 suspects over cryptocurrency fraud

The founder of Thodex, a cryptocurrency exchange in Turkey, has been accused of fleeing the country with billions of dollars in investor assets. In the photo, a woman uses a bank ATM next to a Bitcoin ATM machine at a shopping mall on April 16, 2021, in Istanbul, Turkey. CHRIS MCGRATH/GETTY IMAGES

Turkish prosecutors on Friday issued detention warrants for 78 suspects over their alleged involvement in a cryptocurrency exchange fraud, local media reported.

Police units have so far detained 62 suspects in operations conducted in eight provinces, the Haberturk daily said on its website.

The investigation into the fraud was initiated after the founder of the Istanbul-based Thodex exchange platform, Faruk Fatih Ozer, suspended trading and left the country via Istanbul Airport on Tuesday.

Ozer reportedly vanished with 2 billion dollars of crypto assets collected from 391,000 investors, the daily added.

The platform has a monthly transaction volume of approximately 12 billion dollars, according to press reports.

The incident is considered one of the biggest frauds in Turkey’s modern history.

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