Vebitcoin becomes the second Turkish crypto exchange to collapse in just under a week; founder gone missing and 4 employees under arrest
Just days after Turkish crypto exchange startup Thodex shut down its operation and stealing over 390,000 customers’ funds, cryptocurrency investors were dealt another blow as another Turkish crypto exchange reportedly collapsed.
Vebitcoin announced late Friday that it halted operations citing deteriorating financial conditions claiming that unspecified financial strain led to the decision. Vebitcoin becomes the second Turkish crypto exchange to collapse in just under a week. The founder has reportedly gone missing and four employees are under arrest.
Before its collapse, Vebitcoin was one of the largest crypto exchanges in Turkey with nearly $60 million in daily volume, and bitcoin accounting for half of the trading activity. In a statement on its website, Vebitcoin said:
“Due to the recent developments in the crypto money industry, our transactions have become much more intense than expected. We would like to state with regret that this situation has led us to a very difficult process in the financial field. We have decided to cease our activities in order to fulfill all regulations and claims. We will inform you as soon as possible.”
Meanwhile, Turkey’s Financial Crimes Investigation Board (MASAK) said four people linked to the cryptocurrency platform Vebitcoin have been arrested, accused of fraud, according to a report from Bloomberg. MASAK has also blocked the onshore bank accounts of Vebitcoin and begun an investigation into the platform.
In a statement to local media, Muğla chief public prosecutor Mehmet Nadir Yağcı said:
“Following the search and seizure operations carried out at the company headquarters and at some addresses, 4 people, who are company directors and employees, were detained. The investigation carried out by the Directorate of Cyber Crimes Branch of the Muğla Police Department is carried out in a multifaceted and meticulous manner.”
As we reported last week, Faruk Fatih Ozer, the founder and CEO of Turkish crypto exchange startup Thodex, has gone missing leaving thousands of crypto investors worried that their funds have been stolen. Istanbul police said that 27-year-old Faruk had flown to the Albanian capital Tirana on Tuesday, taking $2 billion of investors’ funds with him.