Joint Turkish-German operation targets telecom fraud

Joint Turkish-German operation targets telecom fraud

Joint Turkish-German operation targets telecom fraud

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Turkish and German police launched on Feb. 12 joint operations against telecom scammers illegally swindling money from elderly people in Germany, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

The group of 76 scammers includes Turkish, German, Albanian, Polish and Brazilian nationals, Anadolu Agency cited anonymous judicial sources as saying.

The defrauders allegedly carry out their unlawful activities through a call center set up in Turkey.

Prosecutors in Istanbul issued detention warrants for 36 people, including five Germans, for obtaining €3 million (about $3.27 million) from 20 people. They introduced themselves as police and prosecutors on the phone, the source added.

The suspected head of the group, who is identified by his initials F.O., established a company in Germany and brought the cash to Turkey by land and air, according to the Federal Criminal Police Office, the federal investigative agency of Germany.

While Turkey's financial crimes police launched search operations against 36 suspects in Istanbul, Antalya and Muğla, police in Germany started the manhunt for 40 suspects: 21 Germans, 15 Turkish, two Brazilians and one Polish and Albanian each.

A number of suspects were rounded up while the search for the remaining continues, according to the source.