With the help of German authorities, a Turkish court has found a gang of 67 people guilty of phone fraud committed throughout Germany.
Operating from a Turkish call centre, the perpetrators stole around €900,000 ($920,000) from people across five German states by pretending to be police officers, authorities from the southern town of Heilbronn said on Monday. The Heilbronn investigation began in 2018.
In total, the group carried out 16 acts of fraud or attempted fraud in the states of Baden-Württemberg, Rhineland-Palatinate, North Rhine Westphalia, Hesse and Lower Saxony.
The 67 perpetrators were sentenced by the court in Izmir to a total of 1,128 years, six months and 28 days in prison. They must also pay a fine of over 478 million Turkish lira ($25.66 million).
The perpetrators identified as having worked in Germany had already been convicted. They were largely involved in collecting money from the victims and in the logistics of the scam.
Police raids in Turkey led to the arrest of the ringleader and the seizure of cash, gold, vehicles and real estate worth about €105 million.
The money will be used to compensate the fraud victims, who were mainly elderly Germans.