24 Arrested in Turkey for Allegedly Stealing $2.4 Million Worth of Cryptocurrency

Francisco Memoria

Turkish authorities have reportedly recently conducted a nationwide operation that targeted individuals suspected of stealing 13 million Turkish liras, about $2.47 million, worth of cryptocurrency from a company based in Istanbul.

According to local news outlet Daily Sabah, the unnamed Istambul-based cryptocurrency firm filed a report with the police after it found that a “large amount” of their funds stored in bitcoin, ether, and XRP had been stolen.

An investigation conducted by Turkey’s anti-cybercrime units reportedly revealed two of the company’s cryptocurrency wallets had been hacked. The authorities reportedly managed to trace the funds on the blockchain, and ultimately managed to identify suspects, which were coordinating via a popular online game called PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG).

Police arrested 24 suspects, and raided their addresses. In them, authorities found 54,000 liras in cash, worth about $10,200, and reportedly managed to seize 1.3 million liras ($247,000) worth of cryptocurrency, which were returned to the company.

Per the Daily Sabah two of the arrested suspects were released after the legal procedures were complete, while six were arrested by the Istanbul Courthouse in Çağlayan. 16 were “released on condition of judicial control.”

Turkey is notably a country that has been seeing increased cryptocurrency adoption over its economic woes. As CryptoGlobe pointed out last year, the country’s residents may turn to cryptocurrencies for economic relief, after Turkey’s fiat current plummeted 14% against the US dollar over tariffs imposed by the US.

Local cryptocurrency users have last year revealed they’ve been investing in the crypto ecosystem after losing trust in the traditional financial system. Back in August, Turkey launched its first blockchain research and innovation center.