Eleven individuals have reportedly been arrested by the cybercrime unit of the Turkish police force, according to mainstream publication Hürriyet. The arrests, which occurred on November 2nd 2018, are believed to be in connection to a cryptocurrency hack. In total, it is believed that more $80,000 worth of cryptocurrencies has been stolen from several different victims.
The operation begun with the hacking group obtaining highly sensitive data on their future victims, notably email addresses and wallet login credentials. Once they had the necessary details, the group then proceeded to access the personal wallets of the victims, and then transferred Bitcoin out.
Once the Turkish cybercrime unit found the reported suspects, they detained a total of 11 people, with one of them subsequently released on bail. During the search and seize raid, police also confiscated a range of devices linked to the suspected fraud, including 18 phones, identity cards, and memory sticks.
As reported by CoinTelegraph, Turkish prosecutors state that close to 437,000 Turkish Lira worth of bitcoin was obtained by the hackers, which at the time of writing amounts to approximately $80,000. Moreover, the same source claims that the stolen bitcoin was laundered through multiple third party cryptocurrency exchanges, prior to selling it for real-world fiat. Turkish Police were also able to obtain security camera footage, which identified the suspects in their attempt to withdraw their stolen funds from a plethora of ATMs.
Turkish interest in Bitcoin continues to grow
There appears to be a somewhat direct correlation behind the downfall of a national currency and interest in the blockchain phenomenon. Forbes reported last month that since the Turkish Lira begun its rapid decline against the U.S. dollar, demand for Bitcoin has gone through the roof. In fact, Turkey’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Koinim, have reported an increase of 63% in Bitcoin trading volumes since the currency crisis started.
The ongoing woes for the Turkish government are in direct response to an ongoing dispute with the Trump regime, in relation to tariffs. The Turkish economy relies heavily on exports of aluminium and steel, which are two sectors in particular to which Trump is attempting to apply foreign tariffs.
Similar sentiment is currently being experienced in nations such as Venezuela, a nation that the International Monetary Fund believes will hit an inflation rate of 1 million percent by the end of this year.
Nevertheless, while stories of cryptocurrency hacks are never good for the industry as a whole, the news does at least indicate that national law enforcement agencies are taking the threats of blockchain-related cybercrimes seriously.