According to local Turkish newspaper Hurriyet, eleven suspects have been apprehended in relation to a string of cryptocurrency wallet hacks. According to the report, more than a dozen victims have reported losses, totaling to more than $80,000.
The investigation began after 14 victims came forward, prompting Turkey’s cybercrime unit to action. The investigation lead to a collective of hackers that had penetrated the victims’ email addresses and crypto wallet passwords obtaining sensitive account details. This led to an arrest on October 26th, 2018 of eleven individuals who allegedly operated decentrally on the heist. As of now, only one suspect has been released from custody. During the arrests, the local police obtained a variety of evidence, including 18 cell phones, 22 memory sticks, SIM cards, and two fake ID cards.
The local authority was able to apprehend the suspects after the had attempted to withdraw fiat currency from various ATMs and banks, however the police are believed to still be searching for further collaborators. The criminals were able to withdraw fiat currency after they had absconded with more than $80,000 worth of Bitcoin (BTC) and spread them across multiple wallets and then traded them for fiat currency.
The crypto heist will most likely not be the first one for the country, as they are in the same situation as Iran, North Korea, and Venezuela, in having a Trump administration imposed economic sanctions. These sanctions have seen all four of these countries citizenry seek salvation through cryptos. Venezuelans have invested heavily to avoid using the hyperinflated Bolivar, North Korea is reportedly behind over 50% of the major crypto hacks this year, and Iran is slowly finding itself allowing business to deal in cryptos to avoid using a US dollar backed system. With Turkish Lira supposedly dropping more than 45% against the USD it comes as no surprise to see Turkish citizens investing in digital assets.