Fugitive Crypto Exchange Founder Faruk Ozer Extradited to Turkey – According to reports from Turkish media, Faruk Fatih Ozer, the CEO and founder of Thodex, a crypto exchange that collapsed, was brought back to Turkey through extradition by the Albanian Ministry of Justice following an order from the Supreme Court of Albania. Ozer arrived in Istanbul on Thursday morning on a plane.
Upon his arrival, Ozer was taken into custody by the Istanbul Airport Police Department, as per a report by the Anadolu Agency. The 27-year-old was subsequently transported to a police station and is scheduled to undergo a health examination. Following the abrupt collapse of Thodex two years ago, Ozer fled Turkey. The crypto exchange had gained approximately 400,000 users during the cryptocurrency surge in the country.
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Ozer’s last recorded sighting was at Istanbul Airport, where he was seen departing for Albania with an alleged $2 billion of investor funds. In April 2021, Turkey released an international arrest warrant for the CEO of Thodex, and he was subsequently listed as wanted by Interpol under a red notice. Since his detainment on August 30, 2022, Ozer has been challenging his arrest in Albanian courts. On September 2, the Elbasan Court of First Instance extended Ozer’s detainment, a decision which was upheld by the Durres Court of Appeals on September 20.
In November, the Elbasan court granted permission for Ozer’s extradition to Turkey, a decision that was subsequently ratified by the Supreme Court in Tirana. Over 60 individuals were detained during the investigation into the exchange, and Turkish authorities have filed charges against 21 people in relation to the case. The founders and executives who stand accused of perpetrating fraud and money laundering, while executing an exit scam, face prison sentences amounting to several years, according to prosecutors.