In Nationwide Sweep Against Financial Crime over 200 Arrested in Turkey
Turkish Authorities arrested this week more than 200 people suspected of financial and smuggling related crimes, Turkey’s interior ministry said in a statement.
Operation Girdap or “Whirlpool” was executed in 50 out of Turkey’s 80 provinces. One fraud operation officers discovered was brazen enough to advertise itself in local newspapers.
“In the Antalya section of the operation, it was determined that the suspects gave the appearance of business people by posting job advertisements in local newspapers, met the victims, sent flowers to the investment consultancy office they used, inspiring confidence by sending flowers on behalf of the chief advisor to the President,” Turkey’s state wire service, Anadolu Agency reported. They then collected some 10 million liras (US$537,000) from their victims, claiming they would be used for various tenders and projects.
Elsewhere, members of a criminal group called “Öterler,” which ran illegal gambling operations, leveraged the debts of their customers against them, forcing them into signing blank debt contracts and ultimately extorting them for far higher amounts.
“It was determined that the members of the "Öterler" criminal organization lent money to those who owe the casino they run against high interest, had them sign a blank promissory note, collected the debts of those who could not pay, through threats and blackmail,” Anadolu reported.
Over the course of the operation, police didn’t just recover money or arrest those involved in non-violent crime, but also recovered a large amount of illegal weapons and ammunition according to the agency.
“Within the scope of the operation, 14 unlicensed pistols, 7 blank pistols and a large number of cartridges belonging to pistols, 10 shotguns and many cartridges belonging to rifles, 2 police radios, 2 police vests and fake police IDs, assault vests and bayonets, 184 thousand liras, 25 thousand dollars, many fake doctor reports and documents such as promissory notes, checks, agendas and title deeds were seized,” according to the report.