Prosecutors in Turkey have announced that charges have been laid against alleged illegal online gambling ring leader Veysel Sahin, arrested earlier this month when he entered Turkey from Lebanon to visit his sick father.
The charges are the result of a five month investigation dubbed Operation Handicap which dismantled the sports betting ring in February this year but did not apprehend Sahin (see previous report).
He now faces charges that include operating an illegal gambling enterprise across 20 cities and towns, and establishing a $930 million multi-national criminal organisation.
The investigators focused on Turkish-facing spoirts betting websites that reportedly included 1xbet, Jollybet, Astecbet, Adminka, Betfigo, Betpass, Carnaval, Redobet, and Betbizz.
The arrest of Sahin highlights the Turkish crackdown on illegal online gambling, which has been banned in the country since 2006.
Recent enforcement moves have included the formation of a national task force of police, banking regulators and telecommunications officials with wide powers that include restrictions on internet gambling financial transactions, increased monitoring of the internet and search engines, and even action against affiliate marketers promoting online gambling in the country.
The task force has reportedly also triggered a player communications campaign that includes pop-up warnings against internet gambling.