As part of their investigation into an unlawful gambling network, Turkish officials have confiscated $40 million worth of cryptocurrencies.
When it comes to gambling, Turkey is quite strict. The government outlawed casinos in 1998. And since 2006, all forms of internet gambling have been illegal, with the exception of a single state-run service.
The police have detained 46 people on suspicion of aiding illicit betting activities throughout eight provinces.
The Smuggling and Organized Crime Investigation Bureau and the Office of the Chief Public Prosecutor in Turkey have both claimed that the accused acted as middlemen between the illicit gaming activity and the crypto addresses used to launder the money. It is unclear what cryptocurrencies were confiscated.
Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said: “This operation came out of Turkish Cyprus and is linked to the murder of Halil Falyalı.”
The businessman Halil Falyali was killed in February 2022. The event resulted in severe life sentences for two guys, M. Faysal Söylemez and Mustafa Söylemez. Falyalı has a history of money laundering investigations and was supposedly sought in the US for narcotics and cash trafficking in 2016.
Turkish officials believe that the $40 million they have already seized is just the beginning. The event allegedly included the transfer of over 2.5 billion Turkish Lira, or about $134.3 million.
“This is just the beginning,” added Soylu about the law enforcement actions.