Turkey

Turkey: 120 nabbed over alleged fuel-related tax fraud

In 2nd wave of operation against fuel-related tax evasion, police across 36 province detain 120 suspects

Sertac Bulur   | 26.02.2021
Turkey: 120 nabbed over alleged fuel-related tax fraud

ANKARA

Turkish police on Friday detained 120 suspects in the second wave of a massive operation against fuel-related tax evasion.

In the Istanbul-based operation, dubbed Silici-2, anti-smuggling and organized crime police teams held simultaneous operations across 36 of Turkey’s 81 provinces.

The operation, carried out in coordination with the Interior Ministry, detained individuals accused of deleting at least 196 million liters of fuel from the ledgers of 157 gas stations by interfering with automated systems.

In a statement, the ministry stated the market value of the fuel whose sales data was deleted was approximately 1.2 billion Turkish liras ($161 million).

The ministry also said the operation is one of the biggest Turkey has ever seen.

The suspects allegedly obtained licenses from the Turkish Energy Regulatory Market (EPDK) to open gas stations and deleted sales data of gas from the system to make profits.

In the first Istanbul-based operation held in 50 provinces on Jan. 15-16, 220 suspects were detained.

Those suspects are accused of deleting at least 608 million liters of fuel from gas stations ledgers, a loss of 3.6 billion Turkish liras ($482 million) worth of fuel costing Turkey 15 billion liras (over $2 billion) over five years, according to the Financial Crimes Investigation Board.

*Writing by Burak Dag

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