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HomeBalkansAlbania Extradites Fugitive Crypto Boss

Albania Extradites Fugitive Crypto Boss

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Faruk Fatih Özer, arrested by Albanian police for defrauding investors on his cryptocurrency platform, Thodex, was extradited to Türkiye on April 20, the Albanian Supreme Court has ordered.

Türkiye issued an international arrest warrant in April 2021 for the fugitive businessman after he fled with a reported $20 million in investors’ assets.

In the 268-page indictment filed by Anatolian Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office in Istanbul, 21 defendants are charged with “establishing and managing an organization for the purpose of committing a crime,” “fraud by using information systems, banks or credit institutions as a tool,” and “fraud of company executives and cooperative managers and crime of laundering property values resulting from crime.”

A prison sentence of 40,564 years is sought for each of the 21 defendants.

Özer was caught in Albania in August last year. A court ordered his extradition to Türkiye, deciding that the evidence collected at the time of Özer’s arrest should also be handed over to the Turkish authorities. Following the Supreme Court’s approval, he is expected to be extradited to Türkiye today.

The Istanbul-based Thodex exchange launched aggressive campaigns to lure investors. It first pledged to distribute luxury cars through a flashy advertising campaign featuring famous Turkish models.

But the exchange suspended trading in April 2021 after posting a suspicious message that said it needed five days to deal with an unspecified outside investment.

In recent years, the crypto sector has benefited from a vast infusion of cash due to easy money policies by the world’s biggest central banks.

However, rampant inflation has sparked tighter monetary policy across the globe, helping to send the industry crashing. Bitcoin has lost more than half its value since the beginning of the year.

Source: Hurriyet Daily News

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