An image surfaced on Wednesday of Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar meeting with a Turkish gambling mafia boss that was arrested in Switzerland last week.
This is not Tatar’s first run in with the law, as he was incriminated in the Polly Peck scandal in London in the 1990s.
In the latest image that surfaced on Wednesday, Tatar is seen in the picture with the boss, which one newspaper in Switzerland Reflekt only named by initials MY.
According to the investigative report: “How influential MY has become over the years is shown by the fact that he was recently received by northern Cypriot President Ersin Tatar. Well-informed sources assume that he wanted to establish a new foothold in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which is known for gambling.”
As the reports state, “a large betting and gambling ring had been exposed. Millions of Swiss francs were regularly transferred to Turkey. Gang members vacationed often, spent lavishly, and had a lot of fun. And they were comfortable enough to share their visit to Tatar on their social media accounts.”
The story, by Reflekt, became the top story in Switzerland and was followed by the Turkish media, with the exception of Turkish pro-government newspapers and TV channels. The operation, as they say, started in 2019 with a raid on a centre where gambling machines were used and it was found that money was being laundered through the payment system called AntePAY.
Barış Boyun, the leader of the Daltons gang, which has been at the top of Turkey’s crime list for some time, is also reportedly involved.
“He started as a drug dealer and extortionist in Beyoglu, [Istanbul] became famous in Istanbul with motorcycle execution squads and soon became a world executioner in a geographical area stretching from Georgia to Spain,” the report said.
He was a suspect in the murder of Serbian mafia leader Jovan Vukotiç in Istanbul on September 9, 2022. The investigation also revealed a photo of Boyun, who is wanted by Turkey, visiting the gang’s restaurant that laundered money with AntePAY , in July 2022.
According to the reports, it was announced that Zurich police have been investigating the criminal network since 2019, and that five suspects, aged between 30 and 45, were arrested on Thursday, including MY.
From 1986 to 1991, Tatar worked for Polly Peck, and was the company’s assistant treasurer when it collapsed with debts of £1.3 billion.
In the resulting trial that led to CEO Asil Nadir receiving a ten-year jail term, it was alleged that Tatar had “assisted Mr Nadir in the dishonest movement of money from PPI and enjoyed a close working relationship with the Polly Peck boss”.