8 defrauders introducing themselves as high officials arrested

8 defrauders introducing themselves as high officials arrested

Fevzi Kızılkoyun- ANKARA
8 defrauders introducing themselves as high officials arrested

An Ankara court has arrested eight members of a gang that deceived hundreds of people with various promises, presenting themselves as senior officials in top institutions of the state.

Hundreds of individuals filed complaints stating that they were defrauded by individuals who identified themselves as advisers in the parliament, intelligence agency personnel, or Interpol officers, offering promises such as finding employment in public institutions and obtaining Turkish citizenship and residence permits for foreigners.

The victims stated that each promise had a different tariff, adding that the gang took 50,000 Turkish Liras ($2,000) from the victims with the promise of finding a job in public institutions.

Following the complaints, financial crime investigation teams in the capital Ankara conducted an operation called “Ghost Trace" in 12 of all 81 provinces in the country and apprehended 20 suspects. The court decided to arrest eight of the suspects.

According to testimonies of the victims to the court, one of the suspects introduced himself as a commander despite being previously discharged from the military when he was a non-commissioned officer.

It was also determined that the fraudsters obtained the victims' fingerprints using a fake device and requested biometric photos, criminal records and resumes to appear more convincing.

"They said they would get me a job in the public institutions. They took my fingerprints, biometric photos and some documents. In return, they demanded 50,000 liras, and I gave them some money,” a victim stated in the court.

Stating that a gang member introduced himself as a high official in the Goycha-Zangazur Republic, a country between Azerbaijan and Armenia, the victim noted that after conducting an online search on the scammer's fake name and surname, he saw that there was indeed a government employee with the same name in the country.

“I cannot figure out how he could do that,” the victim said.

Another victim stated, "I gave 35,000 liras to be employed as office personnel at the Swiss Embassy. They made me sign several documents with the emblem of the Foreign Ministry. They took a photocopy of my ID, a criminal record document and my biometric photos. They then asked me to send 700 liras for the shipment of the documents abroad. I sent it but couldn't reach them afterward, and I wasn't hired for the job."

During the searches conducted at the suspects' houses, numerous fake ministerial documents were found.