Thodex, a Turkish cryptocurrency exchange, has abruptly gone dark – leaving nearly 400,000 users unable to access their accounts and withdraw money, according to a Bloomberg report.
Turkish news outlets are reporting that CEO Faruk Fatih Özer fled to Thailand on Tuesday with $2 billion in digital assets, adding more fuel to the allegations Özer defrauded users out of their money.
Everything began when the platform, which has been around since 2017, announced a six-hour maintenance period following reports of failed transactions. Thondex then made an announcement it would close for “about five working days” because of a sale process.
“World-renowned banks and funds, whose names we are going to announce when the agreement process is completed, have been wanting to invest in our company and proposed a partnership for a long time,” it wrote. “For this process to be completed, transactions need to be halted and the sale process needs to be completed.”
Thondex reassured users they didn’t have to worry about their investments. Those users remained unable to access those accounts and investments. Some 390,000 active users of the platform turned to social media to generate more awareness for the issue and raise allegations of a potential scam, according Anadolu Agency.
Lawyer Oğuz Evren Kılıç says he was contacted by users of the platform. Kılıç told Bloomberg a complaint was filed against the CEO on behalf of those users.
Thodex made headlines last month when it announced it would give away 4 million dogecoins to attract new users. However, several people noted they did not received their promised cryptocurrency during the giveaway. The Daily Sabah is reporting that a public prosecutor in Istanbul is investing Thodex and police are searching company offices.
Thodex CEO Özer broke his silence on Thursday, publishing a statement ot the company Twitter account and his personal Instagram account. Özer refuted allegations of fraud and said that his company had never exploited users and never would. He confirmed that he did leave the country on the 19th as reported, but said it was for an international meeting. He claims he will return to Turkey soon and compensate any losses generated while the platform was down.