Turkish authorities seize $40 million of cryptocurrency in illegal gambling

Turkish authorities confiscated $40 million worth of cryptocurrency as part of an investigation into an illegal gambling ring

Gambling in Turkey is highly regulated. Casinos were banned in the country in 1998 and online betting, with the exception of government services, has been banned since 2006.

As reported by Daily morningThe authorities also issued arrest warrants for 46 suspects, alleging that these individuals were involved in facilitating illegal betting operations in eight provinces.

Turkey’s Public Prosecutor and the Smuggling and Organized Crime Investigation Agency allege that the suspects brokered funds from illegal gambling operations, which were then transferred to the group’s crypto addresses.

There is no indication that cryptocurrencies have been hacked.

Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said that “this operation came from Turkish Cyprus and is linked to the assassination of Khalil Valalili.”

Khalil Faliali is Turkish Cypriot A businessman, who was shot dead while driving his car near his home in ÇatalkoyAnd the Kyreniaai Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in February 2022.

The accident led to the death of two men, Mr. Faisal Swillems and Mustafa Swilms. He was sentenced to severe life imprisonment.

Valalili was no stranger to money laundering investigations himself, apparently Wanted in the US since 2016 Accused of money laundering and drug trafficking.

The $40 million confiscation may be just the tip of the iceberg, at least according to the Turkish authorities.

‘Just the beginning’ of the cryptocurrency crash

Authorities say a transfer of about 2.5 billion Turkish liras, roughly $134.3 million, also occurred in connection with the incident.

Turkish authorities seem intent on continuing the investigation, with Soylu’s account Daily morning That “this is just the beginning”.

“We have submitted these files to these countries in an attempt to create a situation that will prevent illegal betting from taking place anywhere in the world, including Europe, the center of such activities,” he told reporters at a separate meeting.

He added that “accusations that Turkey is making money from crime and illegal gambling are false” and that “Turkey is cooperating with all its institutions to prevent organized crime deals and cryptocurrency proceeds.”

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