Istanbul police expose ISIL funding scheme via exchange offices

Turkish security forces have carried out a major operation in Istanbul targeting the financial network of the ISIL terrorist organization, resulting in the detention of several employees from currency exchange offices and foreign trade companies.

Security sources disclosed on June 9 that the Istanbul police's counterterrorism unit had been closely monitoring companies that provided financial support to a unit within ISIL, a post-Al Qaeda structure perpetuating its presence predominantly in Syria and Iraq.
The police scrutinized the cryptocurrency usage and the financial nexus of ISIL within Türkiye, identifying suspects among currency exchange offices, import/export firms and international logistics companies operating in Istanbul. Following their investigations, which revealed substantial monetary transfers to the terrorist organization, the authorities initiated the operation on June 7.
Security forces apprehended 11 individuals, including owners of currency exchange and export firms, some of whom were of Syrian and Iraqi origin.

The police's efforts to dismantle ISIL's financial infrastructure in Türkiye unveiled that the funds collected by these enterprises were transferred abroad using the "Hawala" system, a prevalent informal fund transfer method. This mechanism allows individuals or groups to remit money to different countries through a network of unlicensed and informal money brokers.
The investigation disclosed that the amount of money transferred via the Hawala system was substantial.

The suspects, operating in "ostensibly inconspicuous regions," were found to be in direct or indirect contact with ISIL's leadership, the sources said.

The funds amassed under the guise of legitimate commercial activities by currency...

Continue reading on: