Turkey launches an investigation into the transfer of about $419 million to over 28,000 overseas bank accounts.
Turkish police detained over 200 people early on Tuesday on suspicion of financial crimes, including financing terrorism after warrants were issued by prosecutors in Istanbul, Turkey’s Anadolu Agency reported.
Police in 40 provinces across Turkey arrested 216 out of 417 people sought for the transfer of about $419 million (2.5 billion Turkish lira) worth of foreign currency to bank accounts abroad.
The vast majority of the recipients of the funds were Iranian citizens resident in the United States, according to a statement from Istanbul's chief prosecutor.
Istanbul police teams were launching raids across a series of provinces, searching properties and detaining many people, media reports said.
The investigation was aimed at those who "targeted the economic and financial security of the Turkish Republic," the Istanbul chief prosecutor's office said.
The suspects were accused of money laundering, "forming a gang with the aim of committing crime," and "breaking a law aimed at preventing the financing of terrorism," the statement said.
The operation was launched by financial crimes police, it added.
It said the suspects were accused of receiving commissions for sending the money to 28,088 accounts abroad.
The transfers were made from various bank branches and ATMs starting from January 1, 2017 with sums of $836 (5,000 Turkish lira) and more, the statement said.