Turkish Authorities Seize Crypto Worth $40M in Illegal Gambling Sting

Investigators are probing a $135 million transaction that links back to organized crime groups in the country's capital city Ankara.

AccessTimeIconOct 20, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. UTC
Updated May 9, 2023 at 4:00 a.m. UTC

A crackdown on illegal gambling in Turkey has led to the seizure of $40 million in cryptocurrency, according to the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor's office.

Authorities detained 46 suspects across Turkey on suspicion of operating an illegal gambling ring that sent ill-gotten gains to cryptocurrency wallets owned by an Ankara-based criminal organization.

"This operation came out of Turkish Cyprus and is linked to the murder of Halil Falyalı," said Turkey's Interior Minister, Süleyman Soylu, as reported in the Daily Sabah. "A transfer of approximately 2.5 billion Turkish lira ($135 million) of money occurred. Approximately $40 million of money has been confiscated at the moment."

Halil Falyalı is a Turkish casino owner who was murdered in February at his home in Kyrenia, Northern Cyprus.

"This is just the beginning," added Soylu about the law enforcement actions.


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Oliver Knight is a CoinDesk reporter based between London and Lisbon. He does not own any crypto.

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