Çiftlik Bank scheme ‘bigger than reported’
Dinçer Gökçe – ISTANBUL
Aydın has collected 1.1 billion Turkish Liras ($290 million), not 511 million liras ($128 million) as had previously been reported, the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s office said in a letter dated March 24, which was sent to prosecutor’s offices in various provinces.
“The system, assuming it worked as had been assumed by its founding, should have paid the participants back 2,971,905 liras [$760 million],” the letter said. The online game, “Çiftlik Bank” (Farm Bank in Turkish), had only paid back about $688 million to the users, it added.
In the letter, the Istanbul Prosecutor’s Office also said the number of victims in the simulation game was 132,222, not 77,843, as had previously been reported.
The online game “Çiftlik Bank” ("Farm Bank" in Turkish) was launched in 2016, inspired by the social media game, FarmVille.
The game’s victims were lured into investing their money in virtual animals and crops, as Aydın promised high rates of return, directing the money raised into an actual agricultural investment, including what he claimed would be “Europe’s biggest dairy farm.”
Following complaints by its users, Turkish authorities have recently arrested a number of suspects, including Sıla Aydın, the wife of the 26-year-old founder, who is allegedly in Uruguay with more than $100 million in cash and cryptocurrency.