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Turkish cryptocurrency boss arrested in Albania

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The founder of cryptocurrency exchange Thodex, suspected of having fled Turkey with the assets of his clients, has been arrested in Albania, Agence France-Presse reported on Tuesday, citing the Turkish Interior Ministry.

Turkey issued an international arrest warrant in April of last year for fugitive businessman Faruk Fatih Özer, who fled with a reported $2 billion in investors’ assets.

Albania informed the Turkish interior minister “that the founder of Thodex, the fugitive Faruk Fatih Özer, wanted with a red notice [by Interpol], was arrested in Vlora, Albania,” the ministry said in a statement.

The statement said that “extradition procedures to Turkey have been initiated.”

Thodex launched aggressive campaigns to lure investors.

It had first pledged to distribute luxury cars through a flashy advertising campaign featuring famous Turkish models.

But the Thodex exchange suspended trading in April after posting a mysterious message days earlier saying it needed five days to deal with an unspecified outside investment.

Turkish security officials then released a photo of Ozer going through passport control at İstanbul airport on his way to an unspecified location.

Media reports said the exchange shut down while holding at least $2 billion from 391,000 investors.

More than 60 people linked to the company were arrested.

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