The authorities of Turkey crackdown and have seized $40M of Crypto in illegal gambling

The authorities of Turkey crack down as part of an investigation into illegal gambling and have seized $40 million in cryptocurrency. Turkey, in terms of gambling, is very controlled and regulated. In 1998, Turkey took a ban on casinos, and in 2006, they took a ban over online betting except for one state-owned service.

According to a report from The Daily Sabah, the Turkish authorities also issued detention orders for 46 suspects in eight provinces, who were all alleged of taking part in facilitating illegal betting operations. The Chief Public Prosecutor and the Smuggling and Organized Crime Investigation Bureau Office of Turkey alleged the suspects mediated the funds. They produced from the illegal gambling operation and transferred the funds to the group’s crypto addresses. 

There is no information available on what type of cryptocurrencies were seized. It could have been Bitcoin, Ethereum, or any other cryptocurrency available in the market.

Süleyman Soylu, the Interior Minister of Turkey, said that this operation came out of Turkish Cyprus and was linked to the murder of Halil Falyalı. Halil Falyali was a Turkish Cypriot businessman and was very famous because of his crypto business. In February 2022, Halil was shot dead while driving near his home in Çatalköy, Kyrenia, which is located in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

In this incident, M. Faysal Söylemez and Mustafa Söylemez faced aggravated life sentences. Halil has been wanted in the United States since 2016 on charges of money laundering and drug trafficking, which shows that he was no stranger to money laundering investigations. According to the authorities of Turkey, who seized $40 million, believed that this currency may just be the tip of the iceberg, which shows that there are also other crimes related to cryptocurrency.

About this operation, Soylu told The Daily Sabah that this was just the beginning. In a separate meeting with journalists, he said that they had supplied these files to those nations to create a condition that prevents unlawful betting from happening anywhere in the world. Moreover, he also denied the allegations that Turkey makes money from crime and illegal gambling, as he said these allegations were wrong.

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