Turkey

Turkey remands alleged Ponzi scheme creator

Mehmet Aydin had surrendered to Turkish Consulate in Sao Paulo, Brazil and was brought to Istanbul last Saturday

Filiz Kinik Oz and Ali Cevahir Akturk   | 07.07.2021
Turkey remands alleged Ponzi scheme creator Mehmet Aydin, founder of the Farm Bank, known as Ciftlik Bank in Turkey, is escorted by police as he is brought to Istanbul Anatolian Courthouse after questioning Istanbul Police Headquarters on July 07, 2021 in Istanbul, Turkey. ( Ahmet Bolat - Anadolu Agency )

ISTANBUL

A Turkish court on Wednesday remanded in custody the alleged creator of an online Ponzi scheme game who was brought back to Turkey last weekend.

Mehmet Aydin, 29, had surrendered to the Turkish Consulate in Sao Paulo, Brazil and was arrested at the Istanbul Airport as soon as he landed on Saturday.

Aydin, nicknamed Tosuncuk, who was also sought by an Interpol red notice at Turkey's request, is accused of various crimes, including founding a criminal organization and fraud and faces possible lengthy prison sentences.

He faces charges in courts in Istanbul and Bursa of committing fraud by using information systems, banks, or credit institutions.

After Aydin founded Farm Bank -- "Ciftlik Bank" in Turkish -- inspired by the FarmVille social media game in 2016, over 3,700 people were allegedly defrauded.

After complaints by thousands of users, a red notice was issued in March 2018 but Aydin disappeared and had been at large for the last two years.

Turkey's Justice Ministry contacted every country where Aydin was allegedly seen, including Uruguay, Brazil, Panama, Honduras, Canada, and Ukraine.

After Aydin was spotted in Brazil, his extradition was requested from Brazil in June 2018. The request was repeated this February.

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