Thousands of kilograms of gold are said to have smuggled a gang of financial thugs, mainly from the Cologne area and the Erftkreis in Turkey. This illegal financial transfer system is said to have served to launder the profits of criminal organizations. According to information from the “Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger”, the public prosecutor has brought the first charge in the case.
The allegations against three alleged main actors range from money laundering, tax evasion, the violation of the Payment Services Supervision Act (ZAG) to the formation of a criminal organization. Initially, the investigators assumed that gold bars worth 1.6 billion euros had been moved to the Bosporus. In the meantime, the prosecutors downgraded the amount: it is about 15.7 tons of gold and more than 457 million euros.
According to the public prosecutor, the three defendants headed for the fugitive gang leader Turan S. as chief logistician. Accordingly, the two women and their accomplice procured customs papers through front companies in order to export the goods to Turkey and sell them there on the state stock exchange, for example.
Numerous deposit offices
The alleged boss Turan S. has numerous deposit points – for example at jewelers in Hürth, on Keupstrasse and in Weidengasse. The cash flows come from a gang that, for example, cheated an 81-year-old pensioner from Bielefeld in mid-May 2019 out of coins and gold bars amounting to 1.1 million euros. In addition, 288,000 euros in profits from the sale of untaxed water pipe tobacco through the financial organization were laundered. The gang used the money to buy large quantities of old gold and melt it into bars. Cash was also brought to Istanbul by courier in order to replenish the cash reserves there for those collecting them.
The procedure shows how successfully financial slavers use oriental hawala banking. The system is centuries old: Customer A usually pays money into a financial service provider or jewelry dealer in Cologne, for example. The actual recipient B, who is based in the Orient, has the amount paid out by a local jeweler or banker after deducting a commission. The two financial sliders then balance the difference between themselves.