Number of detainees increased to 301 in ‘Iron Fist’ op
The number of the suspects detained as part of a major operation against fraud in the iron and steel sector, named “Iron Fist,” has increased to 301 from 250.
On June 28, fourteen factories and 850 locations were raided as part of the “Iron Fist” operation in 29 out of all 81 provinces. Some 250 suspects, including three alleged crime organization leaders, were detained in an op conducted with the participation of 2,100 police officers and 250 other officials. Following the suspects’ interrogation police captured 51 more suspects on June 29.
Among the suspects detained is Erol Evcil, a notorious businessman who spent years in prison over charges of organized crime.
The suspects are accused of disrupting the price stability by manipulating the iron and steel market, monopolizing the sector by eliminating rival companies, and inflicting 25 billion Turkish Liras ($1.5 billion) public money by passing 105 billion liras worth of fake invoices through shell companies.
According to police sources, Evcil was caught while trying to flee from his residence house in the southern province of Hatay’s İskenderun district.
“Evcil and his gang were targeting businessmen who were suffering monetary hardship and renting their factories by force and taking financial advantages,” the sources added.
The investigation, led by Ankara Chief Prosecutor’s Office, started 10 months ago with the participation of officials from the Financial Crime Investigation Board (MASAK) and Tax Inspection Board inspectors and police officers from the Combating Financial Crimes Department and the Anti-Smuggling & Organized Crime Department (KOM).