Former Galatasaray striker Tanju Çolak has been accused of running a gang, extorting money from businesspeople.
Çolak, nicknamed "The King" for being one of the all-time top scorers in Turkish club football's history, was detained over the weekend along with eight others, associated with a gang based in the capital Ankara.
The gang is accused of fraud and using force to extort money from businessmen.
Statements of two victims of the gang revealed that Çolak bought goods from them and later refused to pay.
When the victims sought to file complaints against Çolak, they were threatened and tortured by the gang, according to the prosecutors.
The former footballer was associated with İsmail Altınok, a career criminal who ran illegal gambling operation and was accused of using torture and threat to extort money. Prosecutors said Çolak used his celebrity status to buy goods for his company from unsuspecting victims. When the victims failed to cash the checks Çolak gave them and told him that they would sue, the former footballer contacted Altınok, who then kidnapped and tortured the victims.
The footballer himself was also accused of beating the victims and watching others torturing them.
Police have seized nine pistols and a large cache of ammunition in possession of the suspects.
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