Hundreds arrested in Turkey on suspicion of money laundering with terrorism ties
Police raids began Tuesday morning and are being carried out across the country, Turkish media report. The investigation was aimed at those who “targeted the economic and financial security of the Turkish Republic.”
According to the investigation, from January 2017, the suspects made more than 28,000 transfers to accounts in banks outside Turkey. The majority of these transfers were made to Iranians living in the United States, the investigation said. The transfers were made from various bank branches and ATMs starting with sums of 5,000 liras ($830) and more, the statement from the Istanbul Chief Prosecutor’s Office said.
The suspects are being questioned on suspicion of creating a criminal gang and violating laws to tackle money laundering and the financing of terror.
The investigation comes months after a US court jailed an executive from Turkey’s state-owned Halkbank for 32 months. He was accused of helping Iran bypass US sanctions. Ankara said that case is politically motivated.
Capital outflow abroad has been a sensitive issue for Turkish authorities after the sell-off of the lira sent the Turkish currency down 40 percent this year. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned Turks against sending money abroad if it’s not for investment.
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