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Turkish authorities have reportedly seized $40 million in cryptocurrency and arrested 46 people as part of an investigation into illegal betting. “This operation came from Turkish Cyprus and is linked to the murder of Halil Falyalı,” Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said.

Turkey confiscates $40 million in cryptocurrency

Ankara’s attorney general’s office issued an order for the arrest of 46 suspects and confiscated $40 million in cryptocurrency on Wednesday, Daily Sabah reported.

The detention and seizure were part of an investigation into illegal betting in eight provinces: Ankara, Batman, Bingöl, Kayseri, Kırıkkale, Muş, Van and Yozgat.

The suspects allegedly negotiated the transfer of illegally obtained funds to the crypto accounts of a criminal organization which includes Halil Falyalı and his wife.

Gambling and casino tycoon Halil Falyalı was shot dead on February 8 in an armed attack near his home in Kyrenia, a town on the northern coast of Cyprus. He allegedly ran the illegal betting business that is being investigated, the publication said, adding:

A net amount of 2.5 billion TL [$134.5 million] cryptocurrency value was transferred to the cryptocurrency accounts of a group of 11 people, including Falyalı and his wife.

“Around $40 million worth of crypto assets, which were detected to be transferred to crypto asset exchanges in the country and abroad, were seized,” the post details.

Noting that “This operation came from Turkish Cyprus and is linked to the murder of Halil Falyalı”, Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said:

A transfer of around 2.5 billion TL took place. About $40 million has been confiscated so far. But this is only the beginning.

According to several Turkish media, bitcoin (BTC) and tether (USDT) were seized.

What do you think about the seizure of cryptocurrency by the Turkish authorities? Let us know in the comments section below.

Kevin Helms

An economics student from Austria, Kevin discovered Bitcoin in 2011 and has been an evangelist ever since. His interests include Bitcoin security, open source systems, network effects, and the intersection between economics and cryptography.

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