Turkey seizes $40 million in cryptocurrency and arrests 46 suspects in criminal investigation
Turkish authorities have reportedly seized $40 million in cryptocurrency and detained 46 people in an illegal betting investigation. “This operation came out of Turkish Cyprus and is linked to the murder of Halil Falyalı,” Turkish Minister of Interior Süleyman Soylu said.
Turkey Confiscates $40 Million in Cryptocurrency
The Office of the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Smuggling and Organized Crime Investigation Bureau issued an order detaining 46 suspects and confiscated $40 million in cryptocurrency Wednesday, the Daily Sabah reported.
The detention and seizure were part of an illegal betting investigation in eight provinces: Ankara, Batman, Bingöl, Kayseri, Kırıkkale, Muş, Van, and Yozgat.
The suspects allegedly mediated the transfer of illegally obtained funds to the crypto accounts of a criminal organization that includes Halil Falyalı and his wife.
Betting and casino tycoon Halil Falyalı was shot dead on Feb. 8 in an armed assault near his house in Kyrenia, a city on the northern coast of Cyprus. He allegedly led the illegal betting business that is being investigated, the publication conveyed, adding:
A net amount of TL 2.5 billion [$134.5 million] worth of cryptocurrency was transferred to the cryptocurrency accounts of a group of 11 people, including Falyalı and his wife.
“Around $40 million of crypto assets, which were detected to be transferred to crypto asset exchanges in the country and abroad, were seized,” the publication further detailed.
Noting that “This operation came out of Turkish Cyprus and is linked to the murder of Halil Falyalı,” Turkish Minister of Interior Süleyman Soylu said:
A transfer of approximately TL 2.5 billion of money occurred. Approximately $40 million of money has been confiscated at the moment. But this is just the beginning.
According to several Turkish news outlets, bitcoin (BTC) and tether (USDT) were seized.