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Albanian Court Approves Extradition Of Crypto Exchange Thodex Founder To Turkey

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Albanian Court Approves Extradition Of Crypto Exchange Thodex Founder To Turkey

A court in Albania has ordered the extradition of the fugitive founder of cryptocurrency exchange Thodex to Turkey, where he is sought for fraud and other crimes. Faruk Ozer was arrested in Albania this summer, after disappearing last year as the coin trading platform collapsed.

Albanian Judiciary Prepares to Hand Over Alleged Crypto Fraudster and Thodex Founder to Turkey

A court in the Albanian city of Elbasan has authorized the extradition to Turkey of the founder and chief executive of the now-defunct Turkish crypto exchange Thodex. The 27-year-old Faruk Fatih Ozer was detained in the Balkan nation at the end of August.

The order follows a series of court hearings throughout the past three months. Quoted by Turkey’s Anadolu Agency, Judge Elis Dine pointed out that the decision can be appealed to the Durres Court of Appeals within 15 days.

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Ozer fled Turkey after Thodex, which had attracted 400,000 users during the crypto boom in the country, suddenly went offline in the spring of 2021. He was last seen on footage from Istanbul airport and was believed to have departed for Albania with $2 billion of investor money.

In April 2021, Turkey issued an international arrest warrant for the crypto entrepreneur and he was wanted for fraud with a red notice by Interpol.

Following Ozer’s arrest on Aug. 30, the Elbasan Court of First Instance extended his detention on Sept. 2. It was then appealed by his defense lawyers on Sept. 14 but the Durres Court of Appeals upheld his remand in custody on Sept. 20.

More than 60 people were detained in Turkey in connection with the Thodex case. Prosecutors there seek prison sentences totaling thousands of years for the founders and executives of the exchange who were accused of committing fraud and money laundering as part of a suspected exit scam resulting in losses exceeding 350 million Turkish lira (close to $19 million at current rates).

Turkish crypto exchange Vebitcoin was also investigated when it ceased activities after the country’s central bank banned crypto payments. Coinzo, another major domestic platform, shut down as well. This week, Turkey’s financial intelligence unit launched an investigation into the collapse of FTX, one of the world’s largest exchanges for digital assets.

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albania, Albanian, Arrest, collapse, Court, Crypto, crypto exchange, Cryptocurrencies, Cryptocurrency, Exchange, Executive, Exit Scam, extradition, founder, Fraud, fraudster, Investors, Scam, thodex, Turkey, Turkish

Do you expect Albania to proceed with the extradition of the founder of crypto exchange Thodex to Turkey? Tell us in the comments section below.

Lubomir Tassev

Lubomir Tassev is a journalist from tech-savvy Eastern Europe who likes Hitchens’s quote: “Being a writer is what I am, rather than what I do.” Besides crypto, blockchain and fintech, international politics and economics are two other sources of inspiration.

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Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

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Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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Fugitive Founder Of Turkish Crypto Exchange Thodex Arrested In Albania

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Fugitive Founder Of Turkish Crypto Exchange Thodex Arrested In Albania

Albanian authorities have detained the founder and chief executive of the Turkish cryptocurrency exchange Thodex, who allegedly fled Turkey with customer funds as the trading platform collapsed. Faruk Fatih Ozer was wanted for fraud with a red notice issued by Interpol.

Albania Captures Alleged Crypto Fraudster, Prepares to Hand Him Over to Turkish Judiciary

Police in Albania arrested 27-year-old Turkish businessman Faruk Fatih Ozer who founded and operated the now-defunct crypto exchange Thodex. Albanian law enforcement has been trying to locate him since he reportedly fled to the country with $2 billion of investors’ assets. Close to 400,000 people are believed to have suffered losses.

According to an announcement by Turkey’s Ministry of Internal Affairs, quoted by the Anadolu Agency and other Turkish media, the Minister of the Interior of Albania Bledar Çuçi informed his counterpart in Ankara, Süleyman Soylu, that Ozer was captured in the city of Vlora. His identity was confirmed by biometric data.

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Ozer disappeared in 2021 following the shutdown of his coin trading platform which gained popularity during the crypto boom in Turkey where many were trying to protect their savings from the inflation of the Turkish lira which was rapidly depreciating. In April of last year, Turkey issued an international arrest warrant for him.

Turkish prosecutors seek prison sentences totaling thousands of years for Thodex’s founders and other members of its executive team suspected of halting trading as part of an exit scam. They are accused of committing fraud and money laundering, with authorities claiming that the damages from their activities exceeded an estimated 350 million Turkish liras (close to $20 million at current exchange rates).

The Turkish interior ministry said that Albania has already initiated the necessary procedures for Ozer’s extradition to Turkey. He is now being held in Elbasan, the Daily Sabah wrote, quoting a statement by the Albanian city’s prosecutor Kreshnik Ajazi for the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN). Ozer is expected to appear in court soon.

So far, more than 60 other people associated with Thodex have been detained as part of the investigation in Turkey. The Albanian police said that during its operation for Ozer’s arrest, a resident of Tirana and another person from Durrës were apprehended to determine their relations with the suspect. Laptop computers, mobile phones, bank cards, and other items were seized as evidence.

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albania, Albanian, Arrest, arrest warrant, ceo, Crypto, crypto exchange, Cryptocurrencies, Cryptocurrency, Exchange, founder, Fraud, INTERPOL, Money Laundering, Ozer, red notice, thodex, Turkey, Turkish

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Do you expect more arrests in the Thodex case in Turkey and Albania? Tell us in the comments section below.

Lubomir Tassev

Lubomir Tassev is a journalist from tech-savvy Eastern Europe who likes Hitchens’s quote: “Being a writer is what I am, rather than what I do.” Besides crypto, blockchain and fintech, international politics and economics are two other sources of inspiration.

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Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons, Bonma Suriya

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Albania To Start Taxing Crypto-Related Income From 2023

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Albania To Start Taxing Crypto-Related Income From 2023

Authorities in Albania are finalizing regulations that will allow the taxation of income and profits from cryptocurrency investments. The government intends to begin imposing the levy in 2023, after adopting the necessary legislation which has been proposed for public consultations.

Albania Set to Impose Crypto Tax as Early as Next Year

The Albanian state should begin collecting taxes on income from crypto assets as of 2023 in accordance with a new income tax bill, the local English-language portal Exit News reported on Friday. The government also hopes to pass a number of other laws and bylaws this year in order to comprehensively regulate the matter.

The special tax legislation is currently open for public consultations. It introduces the concept of taxing crypto holdings and income derived from virtual assets. The latter have been defined as “a digital representation of a value that can be deposited, traded or transferred in digital form, and that can be used for payment or investment purposes or as a medium of exchange, including but not limited to cryptocurrencies.”

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However, the definition does not cover central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), the report notes. That’s despite a growing number of monetary authorities around the world developing a digital version of their national fiats. The list includes major powers such as the United States, the European Union, China, and the Russian Federation.

The Albanian law also defines cryptocurrency mining as an activity using computing power to confirm transactions and gain virtual assets in exchange. The extraction of cryptocurrencies has been a grey area although law enforcement has been going after illegal mining facilities in the country and pressed charges against some of their operators.

Under the new legislation, any income from crypto transactions or mining will be classified as corporate income when it’s received as a result of business activity. And when the beneficiaries are private individuals, they will have to pay capital gains tax of 15%.

Financial Watchdog Tasked to Expand Crypto Regulatory Framework

Earlier this month, the Albanian parliament ordered the Financial Supervisory Authority (AFSA) to prepare and adopt new regulations regarding cryptocurrencies by the end of 2022. Albanian law allows crypto trading platforms to legally work in the country but no licensed entities are currently operating in Albania, Exit News remarked.

Two years ago, Albania also adopted a law titled “Financial markets based on distributed ledger technology.” While many have welcomed the legislation, critics have questioned whether the small nation in South East Europe, still an EU hopeful, is capable of properly regulating its crypto sector to prevent it from being used for money laundering, something it’s struggling to achieve in the fiat space.

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The legislature referenced a recent report by the Council of Europe’s Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism (Moneyval), which recommended additional steps regarding the risks associated with cryptocurrency. In November 2021, the AFSA approved its first two regulations implementing the crypto markets law, which introduced capital and licensing requirements for entities working with digital assets.

Do you expect Albania to adopt comprehensive regulations for its crypto space by the end of the year? Tell us in the comments section below.

Lubomir Tassev

Lubomir Tassev is a journalist from tech-savvy Eastern Europe who likes Hitchens’s quote: “Being a writer is what I am, rather than what I do.” Besides crypto, blockchain and fintech, international politics and economics are two other sources of inspiration.

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Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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