- As per the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s office, a clampdown on illicit gambling in Turkey has resulted in the seizure of $40 million in cryptocurrency.
- Authorities arrested 46 people across Turkey on the accusation of running an “illegal gambling ring.”
Turkish authorities have seized cryptocurrencies worth $40 million as part of their investigative process into an illegal gambling network. The Daily Sabah reported on Wednesday, the Smuggling and Organised Crime Investigation Bureau of the Office of the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor issued a decree attempting to arrest 46 perpetrators.
In Turkey, gambling is tightly monitored. Casinos were outlawed in Turkey in 1998, and non-state online gambling was outlawed in 2006. However, there is still illegal gambling, as well as a state lottery (Milli Piyango), betting services, and some online gambling.
No information regarding the cryptocurrencies that were seized is accessible.
According to Süleyman Soylu, minister of interior for Turkey, “This operation originated in Turkish Cyprus and is related to the murder of Halil Falyal.”
The criminal organisation with its headquarters in Ankara was given a detention order by the Smuggling and Organised Crime Investigation Bureau after it was determined that it had violated Law No. 7258, the Legal code on the Arrangement of Betting and Games of Chance in Football and Other Sports Competitions.
The suspects are accused of mediating the transfer of money obtained illegally to a criminal organisation that involves Halil Falyal and his wife’s cryptocurrency accounts.
The proposition identified Turkish Cypriot businessman Halil Falyal as the subject of accusations relating to his managerial position in the illegal betting operations he oversaw on the island, as well as insinuations of money laundering.
A total of TL 2.5 billion worth of cryptocurrency, including TL 118,000 with 148 money transfers, was sent to the accounts of a group of 11 people, including Falyal and his wife.
According to authorities, the $40 million in crypto that has already been seized is only the starting point. This implies that the Turkish government is willing to expand and tighten the investigation.
Soylu claimed that Turkey invariably looks to itself for support and that a very successful operation was carried out by the Financial Crimes Investigation Board (MASAK) and the General Directorate of Security with all of its factions, including intelligence, organized crime, and smuggling.
It should be noted that investigations into cryptocurrency are nothing new for Turkey. In August, the founder and CEO of a Turkish cryptocurrency exchange, accused of escaping the country with his clients’ money, was arrested in Albania.
Turkey imposed a global arrest warrant for fugitive businessman Faruk Fatih Ozer in April of last year after he was accused of fleeing with an estimated $2 billion in investor assets.