Baden-Württemberg: Fraudster gang convicted in Turkey: compensation for victims

They ran a call center in Turkey and had several helpers in Germany: a gang of fraudsters stole almost one million euros as "fake police officers" and is now in custody.

Baden-Württemberg: Fraudster gang convicted in Turkey: compensation for victims

They ran a call center in Turkey and had several helpers in Germany: a gang of fraudsters stole almost one million euros as "fake police officers" and is now in custody. However, the mostly older victims can hope for compensation.

Heilbronn (dpa / lsw) - Again and again scammers succeed, especially seniors with false information on the phone to get a lot of money. A particularly large gang using the "fake police officers" scam was convicted in Turkey with help from Baden-Württemberg. The victims can now hope for financial compensation.

Investigators from Heilbronn made the convictions possible. As a result of their preparatory work, a total of 67 fraudsters were arrested. The accused are said to have stolen around 900,000 euros from a Turkish call center in five German federal states, as the police and public prosecutor in Heilbronn announced on Monday. The group is said to be responsible for 16 completed and attempted acts in Baden-Württemberg, Rhineland-Palatinate, North Rhine-Westphalia, Hesse and Lower Saxony.

The scam: so-called false police officers call pensioners and pretend to them that their belongings are threatened by criminals. In this way they persuade the victim, who often lives alone, to give a messenger money or valuables. Some convince older people that the police have to check alleged counterfeit money. Recently, however, there have also been an increasing number of cases in which seniors noticed the fraud and thwarted it together with the police.

Based on the investigations conducted centrally in Heilbronn, the regional court in Izmir, Turkey, sentenced the 67 accused to a total of 1,128 years, 6 months and 28 days in prison at the end of September and imposed fines of more than 478 million Turkish lira, as the authorities have now announced. That's the equivalent of around 25 million euros. The police and public prosecutor's office in Heilbronn had already set up an investigation team in 2018.

The suspects identified in Germany are said to have collected the money from those affected and worked on the logistics of the scam. They too have already been convicted. Upon request, the authorities were initially unable to provide any further information on the suspects working in Germany.

During searches in Turkey, the local police arrested the main perpetrator of the fraud and seized money, gold, vehicles and real estate worth around 105 million euros. This is intended to compensate the mostly older German victims of the fraudsters. A spokesman said on Monday that anyone who was the victim of telephone fraud could contact the police. The investigators then checked whether the perpetrators in these cases were from Turkey.

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