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Cyprus

Turkish Cypriot press reports probe into laundering of $5 billion in 13 casinos

The Turkish Board of Investigation on Financial Crimes (MASAK) has launched an investigation into money laundering of $5 billion in 13 casinos in the north and the 20 firms involved in their operation, Turkish Cypriot press reported on Tuesday.

Havadis newspaper said prosecutors ordered the confiscation of $100 million linked to suspects after an earlier investigation by MASAK discovered that the casinos in the breakaway regime were involved in the transfer of large amounts of foreign currency.

The transfers were made through the accounts of seven casino managers and the personal accounts of staff at 20 companies owned by the casinos. Turkish police are now investigating money trafficking of more than $5 billion.

Reporting on the same issue, Kibris said the suspects had multiple accounts in seven banks based in Turkey, including Bank Asya. Turkish Cypriot authorities told the paper that no document or information was asked of them by any authority in Turkey. They also said that they were informed about the issue through the media.

Turkish daily Sabah claimed that Bank Asya was a lender closed by the authorities due to its links to the Gülenist movement.

Yeni Duzen newspaper said ‘finance minister’ Serdar Denktash stated that they contacted MASAK and were informed that there was no such issue and no investigation was taking place in the north.

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