The Gülenİst Terror Group (FETÖ) was reported to have 9,000 shell companies, provided with consumer and commercial loans through Bank Asya, while cash laundered through these companies was smuggled abroad in luggage
The second stage of the investigation into FETÖ was directed at shell companies. The intelligence agency, police department and Financial Crimes Investigation Board (MASAK) examined money transfers sent through shell companies in the period following Dec. 17, 2013, and found important details. MASAK identified members of the terror group that were transferring unusual amounts of money, together with their property holdings. It was learnt that large amounts of consumer and commercial loans processed by Bank Asya were transferred abroad through these shell companies.
The initial investigation reveals that over 9,000 companies were founded and managed by about 28,000 people operating within the parallel structure. Of these shell companies, about 6,000 were managed by active members of the terror group. The number of companies which remained within the group after Dec. 17, 2013 was around 400, including cram courses, schools and dorms.
The escape network
FETÖ members transferred millions of dollars through shell companies. After changing their partnership structures in collaboration with foreign companies, shell companies were used to facilitate cash flow and managers escaping to Europe. The companies were reportedly shown as operational in various sectors, educational institutions in particular, and were regularly transferring money to the U.S. as well as other countries. Investigations revealed that the shares of companies founded by people detained in the recent operations were indicated as owned by cafeteria personnel and workers, although these shares in multi-million-dollar companies were transferred often without their knowledge. Account transactions including key names and the founders of these shell companies were disclosed. Although the amounts of money transferred abroad through the banking system over the past three years was only a couple of million dollars, the money transferred through the shell companies is much higher. Educational institutions, in particular, were used for the money transfers. Cash obtained through consumer and commercial loans provided by Bank Asya was smuggled abroad in luggage. It was reported that the branches of international educational institutions were used for these money transfers. Members of the terror group that accessed politicians' credit information made online money transfers that bypassed bank auditors.
Accounts were blocked
The operations investigating the business world have followed investigations into FETÖ infiltration into the military, security forces and legislative branches following the coup attempt on July 15. Although the investigation is continuing, the number of companies whose accounts were blocked has reached 4,000. Interesting details were uncovered related to international ties established through shell companies. Collaboration between international companies and the partnership structure of these companies was reportedly changed after Dec. 17, 2013.
100 foundations, 22 secret vaults
Millions of euros were smuggled through about 100 foundations immediately following the Dec. 17, 2013 anti-graft investigations. Twenty-two people, considered the secret vaults of the foundations, fled abroad. The top countries to which the largest amount of money was transferred after this date are Canada, the U.S., Britain, South Africa and Germany.
Personal file traffic
Each suspected business person was assessed according to their own files. Their domestic and international ties were investigated, along with money transfers to international bank accounts. FETÖ conducts operations in many countries using direct investment and business networks, instead of using an umbrella foundation. A great number of firms registered to Turkish citizens were discovered, particularly in European countries.