Albania has extradited the founder of the Turkish cryptocurrency exchange Thodex to his home country, where he is charged with defrauding investors. The crypto entrepreneur disappeared after his trading platform unexpectedly went offline in the spring of 2021 and was arrested last year by Albanian law enforcement.
Albania turns over suspected crypto fraudster to Turkish authorities
Faruk Fatih Ozer, founder and CEO of failed crypto exchangeSodexo” was extradited to Turkey by the Albanian Ministry of Justice on the order of the Albanian Supreme Court. Turkish media reported that the plane carrying Ozer landed in Istanbul on Thursday morning.
Anadolu Agency reports that upon arrival, Istanbul airport police took Ozer into custody. The 27-year-old was then taken to the police station where he is scheduled to undergo a medical examination.
Ozer fled Turkey after the sudden collapse of Thodex two years ago. The exchange had attracted about 400,000 users during the crypto boom in the country. He was last seen in a video from the Istanbul airport and is believed to have left for Albania with a reported $2 billion in investor money.
Turkey issued an international arrest warrant for Thodex’s CEO in April 2021 and he was wanted by Interpol on a Red Notice. Ozar has been contesting his detention in an Albanian court since his arrest on August 30, 2022.
The Elbasan court extended his detention on September 2, and the Durres court upheld its decision on September 20; in November, the Elbasan court granted his extradition to Turkey, which was later approved by the Supreme Court in Tirana.
Turkish authorities charged 21 of the more than 60 people detained during the investigation in connection with the deal. Prosecutors are seeking prison sentences totaling thousands of years for the founders and executives who allegedly committed fraud and money laundering while committing exit fraud.
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