Turkish police detain 40 suspects in Twitch money laundering scam

Streamers netted $10m through Bit donations.

Turkish police have detained 40 people in relation to a money laundering scam run on Twitch.

As reported last year, a group of Turkish streamers netted $10m through Bit donations from stolen credit cards.

Turkish police ran an operation in 11 provinces against a gang accused of running the scam, as a result of a probe by the Chief Prosecutor's Office in Istanbul. Four further suspects remain at large.

The scam first came to light due to a mass leak of Twitch data in October 2021 that revealed the top earning streamers on the platform, including a number of Turkish streamers.

It's believed that hackers stole credit cards which were used to donate large amounts of Bits to streamers, usually used to cheer on and support a favourite content creator. Those streamers would then refund a majority share of the money to the hackers.

A number of Turkish streamers launched a campaign against the scam, including popular streamer Jahrein who publicly called on Twitch to act.

The scam was brought to the agenda of the Turkish parliament thanks to Jahrein's campaign.

Police seized documents and digital materials during the raids. Demirören News Agency reports some of the suspects were minors.

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Ed Nightingale

Ed Nightingale

News reporter

Ed is Reporter at Eurogamer, with an interest in streaming, people and communities, and giving a voice to marginalised people.

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