Turkish Authorities Order Seizure of 'Suspicious' FTX Assets

The country's Financial Crimes Investigation Board says Sam Bankman-Fried is also under investigation.

AccessTimeIconNov 25, 2022 at 11:58 a.m. UTC
Updated Nov 28, 2022 at 4:27 p.m. UTC

Authorities in Turkey are looking to seize "suspicious assets" associated with collapsed crypto exchange FTX, and are investigating the platform's former CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried.

A Wednesday notice from the country's Financial Crimes Investigation Board, known as MASAK, says the agency had sought approval from the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office to initiate "an investigation for various antecedent crimes and laundering the property values ​​arising from the crime" and to "confiscate the suspicious assets" in accordance with local law.

After a CoinDesk article scrutinizing the financial stability of Sam Bankman-Fried's crypto empire set off a series of events that culminated in a bankruptcy filing in the U.S., regulators in the numerous jurisdictions where the platform had a local presence have sprung to action, most notably in The Bahamas, where FTX was headquartered.

Since Nov. 14, MASAK has also been investigating the exchange's local unit, FTX Turkey. The ongoing investigations have shown that customers' trust was "not duly preserved" by the fallen company. Also, the authorities have "a strong suspicion of crime" being committed, particularly by Bankman-Fried who "directly or indirectly" controls the entities and persons through which FTX operates in Turkey, the notice said.

"As a result of our aforementioned application, a judicial investigation was opened against the suspects and a confiscation measure was applied to the assets of the suspects," the notice said in Turkish.


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Sandali Handagama

Sandali Handagama is CoinDesk's deputy managing editor for policy and regulations, EMEA. She does not own any crypto.