Soma victim wife’s bank account emptied

Soma victim wife’s bank account emptied

Banu Şen – Manisa
Soma victim wife’s bank account emptied

AA Photo

A bank employee has reportedly embezzled 196,000 Turkish Liras in donation money from the account of a Soma victim’s wife.

The perpetrator emptied the bank account of Meryem Gül, the wife of Ali Gül, who lost his life in the country’s deadliest mine disaster in the Soma district of the Aegean province of Manisa last year on May 13, in which 301 miners died. The account had been deposited with some 196,000 liras collected as a donation.

The Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) granted 176,000 and 20,000 liras to Gül in two separate donations to help the family pay the victim’s accrued debts. She later deposited the total amount to a bank in Soma with the company of her uncle-in-law.

In March, a rumor swirled that an officer working in the bank had been emptying several bank accounts, including those of miners and their families. Gül rushed to the bank to check if her account was among those subjected to fraud and the bank authorities discovered Gül’s money had also been embezzled.

Gül said her husband had been a miner for 13 years and the Soma disaster left her widowed with her two children. “I was going to use that money for my children. Now we have nothing,” she said, in tears. 

Although the bank authorities said she would be refunded the total amount lost and they would investigate the incident, she did not hear from the bank about her money. She filed a complaint in mid-May to the Soma District Governorate and the governorate sent a complaint to the Soma Public Prosecution Office.

Speaking to daily Hürriyet on behalf of the governorate, Soma Governor Bahattin Atçı said they had sent the complaint to the Soma Public Prosecution Office and an investigation launched on the matter was ongoing. 

“As far as we heard from the bank authorities, the total amount of money embezzled from the emptied accounts will be returned to the account owners. Authorities also said the suspect has been fired from the bank,” Atçı added.

The wife of another Soma victim also said she figured some 1,000,000 liras had disappeared from her account, which she discovered after a halt in her regular payments. 

“I ran to the bank to ask what was wrong with my account. I happened to talk to the suspect about my account. He looked nervous. Then, I asked his chief about the fate of my money. He said my account had been blocked and he revoked the blockage. The suspect had told me to deposit the money from the AFAD to this bank and I did not. Now I see I was about to lose my money. I may have been another victim of fraud,” she added.