ECONOMY

Turkey detains four in Vebitcoin investigation

turkey-detains-four-in-vebitcoin-investigation

Turkish authorities have blocked the onshore bank accounts of Vebitcoin and detained four people as part of an investigation into the cryptocurrency exchange platform, a local prosecutor said on Saturday.

The action came after Vebitcoin announced that it stopped all of its activities citing financial strains. It became the second Turkish platform in a week to face troubles, after authorities detained dozens of people with suspected ties to the Thodex platform.

“Four administrators and personnel of the company were detained on Saturday on allegations of fraud,” Mehmet Nadir Yagci, a prosecutor in the southwestern city of Mugla said in a statement.

Vebitcoin announced on Friday that it had stopped all activities “in order to fulfil all regulations and claims”.

“Due to the recent developments in the crypto money industry, there was a much higher density in our operations than expected. We would like to state with regret that this situation has led us to a very difficult process.”

The Financial Crimes Investigation Board (MASAK) blocked the company’s accounts and began an investigation, state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

Last week, the central bank banned the use of crypto assets for payments, citing “irreparable” damage and transaction risks as reasons for the ban. [Reuters]