Turkey’s Financial Intelligence Unit Launches Investigation Into FTX Collapse
The Turkish agency responsible for tackling money-related crime has initiated an investigation against troubled crypto exchange FTX. Days after the trading platform filed for bankruptcy in the United States, the department revealed it has been tracking its activities in Turkey.
Turkish Financial Watchdog Sets Out to Dig Deeper Into FTX Case
Turkey’s Financial Crimes Investigation Board (MASAK), a body subordinated to the Ministry of Finance in Ankara, has started an investigation into the insolvency of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, joining financial authorities in other jurisdictions to do so.
“It is well known to the public that a crypto asset trading platform operating on a global scale with the trade name FTX.com has not been able to fulfill its obligations to its customers in recent days,” the agency said, noting the development has been widely reported by local and foreign press.
In an announcement released on Monday, MASAK emphasized that according to current Turkish legislation, crypto asset service providers are deemed liable organizations covered by the Law on the Prevention of Laundering Proceeds of Crime and other relevant acts.
The watchdog also unveiled it has been closely monitoring activities in the country of such parties associated with FTX. The investigation will target transactions made through the accounts of both electronic money institutions and crypto providers, the agency noted, and the results will be shared with the relevant judicial and administrative authorities.
FTX is in bankruptcy proceedings since Nov. 11, when it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. FTX’s Turkish platform, Ftxtr.com, is now asking users to share their bank account information so that the exchange can send them their balances in Turkish lira unless they already have a registered IBAN.
Amid rampant inflation, exceeding 85% on annual basis according to official figures, many Turks have turned to cryptocurrencies to preserve wealth and store value. In the past couple of years, the country also saw several suspected crypto scams with fraud probes launched against local exchanges such as the now-defunct Thodex.
Following its collapse, the bankrupt FTX has become the target of investigations in the United States as well as the Bahamas, where it’s headquartered. Elsewhere in the region, the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) announced it’s suspending the license issued to FTX (EU) which allowed the exchange to operate across the European Union.
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