Turkish cryptocurrency exchange Vebitcoin is shutting down after blocking its onshore bank accounts following recent news that the exchange is battling through financial strains.
April 25, 2021 | AtoZ Markets – With a cryptocurrency ban looming across the country, several Turkish exchanges are under investigation, with four employees of the recently closed exchange Vebitcoin arrested this morning on charges of fraud.
On Friday, Vebitcoin announced that it would shut down operations in a short statement posted on its website, claiming that unspecified financial strains led to the decision – possibly caused by an exceptionally high number of withdrawals due to the ban on cryptocurrency in Turkey.
“We decided to end our activities in order to comply with all regulations and claims,” said the announcement in part.
The exchange was among the largest in Turkey, with almost $60 million in daily volume, with Bitcoin accounting for half of commercial activity.
Muğla’s chief prosecutor, Mehmet Nadir Yağcı, announced in a statement to the local media that four officials had been detained by police officers after allegations of fraud.
“Following the search and seizure operations carried out at the company’s headquarters and in some addresses, 4 people were arrested, who are directors and employees of the company. The investigation carried out by the Cyber Crime Directorate of the Muğla Police Department is carried out in a multifaceted and meticulous.”
MASAK, Turkey’s financial crime enforcement wing, is investigating.
The arrest follows a similar pattern seen in the closure of the crypto exchange Thodex. Thodex announced the suspension of the entire trade amid reports of a police operation and that the founder of the exchange had fled to Albania. Subsequently, the police issued more than 75 arrest warrants and detained 62 in connection with a possible exit scam.
The arrests and closures comes after a surprise “diktat” by the newly appointed president of Turkey’s central bank, which effectively banned cryptocurrencies in the country, which will take effect on April 30. The ban has become a controversial issue, as opposition leaders have expressed support for the crypto-sphere.
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