As a crypto ban looms in Turkey, several Turkish cryptocurrency exchanges have now come under investigation with four employees of the recently-shuttered Vebitcoin exchange arrested this morning for allegations of fraud.
Last night, Vebitcoin outlined that it might be ceasing operations within a short statement posted on its website, claiming that unspecified financial strain led to the choice – possibly caused by a strangely high number of withdrawals leading up to Turkey’s upcoming cryptocurrency ban.
“We have decided to cease our activities so as to satisfy all regulations and claims,” the announcement read partially.
The exchange was among the renowned exchanges in Turkey with nearly $60 Mln in daily volume, with Bitcoin accounting for half the trading activity.
This morning, Muğla chief prosecutor Mehmet Nadir Yağcı explained within a statement to native media that four employees are detained by enforcement following allegations of fraud.
“Following the search and seizure operations administered at the firm headquarters and at some addresses, 4 people, who are company directors and employees, were detained. The investigation administered by the Directorate of Cyber Crimes Branch of the Muğla Police department is administered within a multifaceted and meticulous manner.”
MASAK, Turkey’s financial crime enforcement wing, is presently investigating.
The arrests follow a similar pattern seen within the aftermath of fellow exchange Thodex’s closure. Thodex outlined a halt to all or any trading amid reports of a police raid in which the founder of the exchange had fled to Albania. Police subsequently issued upwards of 75 arrest warrants and detained 62 in connection to a possible exit scam.
The arrests and closures come after a surprise “diktat” from Turkey’s newly-appointed central bank governor effectively banning cryptocurrencies within the country, which will come into effect on 30th April. The ban has become a hot-button issue, as opposition leaders have voiced support for crypto assets.