As a nationwide cryptocurrency ban approaches, many Turkish stock exchanges are now under investigation involving four employees of the recently closed exchange Vebitcoin, which was arrested this morning on fraud charges.
Vebitcoin announced the end of operations last night in a brief statement posted on its website, claiming that uncertain economic pressures led to a decision – possibly due to the unusually high number of takeaways that led to Turkey’s upcoming cryptocurrency ban.
The announcement reads in part: “We have decided to discontinue our business in order to comply with all regulations and requirements.”
The stock market was one of the largest in Turkey with a daily turnover of nearly $ 60 million, with bitcoin accounting for half of the trading activity.
Mugla’s chief prosecutor, Muhammad Nader Yagji, said in a statement to local media that four officers were arrested by the police following allegations of fraud.
“Following the searches and seizures that took place at the company’s headquarters and at some addresses, four managers and employees of the company were arrested. The investigation by the Cybercrime Directorate of the Muугla Police Department says it was carried out carefully and comprehensively.”
MASAK, the Turkish Economic Crime Investigation Unit, is currently investigating.
The arrests follow a similar pattern following the closure of the Thodex exchange. Thodex announced the suspension of all commercial transactions amid reports of a police raid and the exchange’s founder fled to Albania. The police then issued more than 75 arrest warrants and arrested 62 in connection with possible departure fraud.
The arrests and closings come after unexpected dictations by the newly appointed head of the Turkish central bank, which effectively bans cryptocurrencies in the country, which will take effect on April 30. The ban became a hot topic when opposition leaders expressed support for cryptocurrencies.