Turkish security forces detained the alleged leader of an organized crime ring engaged in international aggravated fraud, who has been sought with an arrest warrant by a German court over his links to several fraud schemes in Germany, during simultaneous operations in six provinces across Turkey, media reports said Friday.
Police conducted operations in Turkey's western Denizli and İzmir provinces, as well as in Istanbul, capital Ankara, southern Adana and central west Afyonkarahisar provinces under the investigation launched by the Anti-Smuggling and Organized Crime Branch of the Denizli Security Directorate.
Identified as E.B., the alleged ringleader who is accused of defrauding some 300 people in Germany was detained along with 75 other suspects during the raids.
Police seized documents in which the names, telephone numbers and birth dates of German citizens were written along with several bank account numbers belonging to foreign banks and invoices that were billed to addresses in Germany on behalf of construction and communication companies.
The investigation revealed that the crime ring had established a call center in Germany which was shut down by the German government after an investigation was launched into the organization. The company's bank accounts, as well as the personal bank accounts of the members of the crime ring were frozen by German authorities.
The probe further revealed that the suspects continued their fraud scheme from an already closed company's call centers in Turkey by phoning elderly people living alone in Germany. The suspects were tricking them by saying "You have won a lot of money from Turkey," or "You have won a luxury car," while demanding a certain amount of money as "car tax".
The suspects reportedly swindled some 1,500,000 ($1,684,940) euros with this scheme.
Five of the suspects were arrested while 13 others were released by the court pending trial on the condition of judicial control.