Eight foreigners arrested in illegal online gambling and drug raid in north Cyprus

The TRNC Financial Crimes Unit and the Crime Prevention Unit, following a tip off received in Kyrenia, conducted simultaneous operations in twelve different properties.

Eight individuals from the Far East, identified as running illegal online gambling activities, were caught red-handed, with the police also seizing drugs.

It was determined that among the suspects who obtained residency permits on the island by showing ‘high income,’ there were also those whose student permits were cancelled.

During the raid, it was learned that illegal gambling was being conducted on open computers and the winnings were converted into cryptocurrency.

Suspects R.M., B.D., Y.Y., D.W., K.L., T.D., J.Z., and G.Y. were brought before Kyrenia District Court with a request for detention.

Drugs, numerous mobile phones, and computers were confiscated.

Police officer Yağız Kol, serving in the Financial Crimes Unit, stated in court that during the illegal online gambling operation conducted on 7-8 May, eight individuals from the Far East were arrested in simultaneous operations at different addresses. 

Drugs were found in the homes of two suspects, and 2 computers, 6 laptops, 2 tablets, and 25 mobile phones were seized.

The police stated that illegal online gambling was being conducted on computers seized during the operation, and the earnings were converted into cryptocurrency.

Officer Kol mentioned that during the raid on May 7th, it was discovered that suspects R.M. and B.D. were conducting illegal online gambling via the internet in their homes. Additionally, during the raid, they found a substance believed to be 5 grams of cannabis mixed with tobacco on a table and 100 milligrams of cannabis in a grinder.

The police stated that on the same day, during the house raids, Y.Y., D.W., K.L., T.D., and J.Z. were arrested for the same offence in the operation conducted on May 8th, along with G.Y.

Kol mentioned that during the raids on 12 houses, a total of 2 computers, 2 tablets, and 25 mobile phones were confiscated, and data analysis is ongoing.

The police noted that R.M. was registered as a student at a university in Famagusta B.D.’s student permit was cancelled on July 19, 2023, Y.Y. and D.W. were on tourist status, and K.L. applied for a residence permit under the “high-income individual” status.

Investigating officers reported that J.Z. had applied for a student permit but was under investigation in fake student permit operations in October 2023. Kol mentioned that G.Y. resided in the TRNC with a student permit, and all suspects’ permits were being investigated for authenticity.

Kol stated that the investigation is ongoing, data analysis of devices is being conducted, evidence is being sought, and statements are being taken. He requested a 7-day detention for the suspects from the court. 

The judge ordered the suspects to remain in police custody for 7 days for the security of the investigation.

LGC News

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