Turkish police have arrested 40 suspects in 11 provinces in an alleged money laundering scheme that involved Twitch streamers and stolen credit cards.
As reported by the Demirören News Agency (via Daily Sabah), the operation first started with a bunch of stolen credit cards. Gang members would then purchase Bits (Twitch's currency) and then donate it to streamers who would then refund the Bits as real cash at an exchange rate between 70% to 80%. Thus, the alleged scammers make untraceable money off the stolen credit cards while the Twitch streamers act as the fence.
This wasn't some dine and dash operation, either. According to the report, there's an email trail that lasts two years. Prosecutors say the alleged money laundering scheme raked in $9.8 million over those two years.
The bust was apparently a long time coming. As noted by Kotaku, the Daily Sabah first reported the alleged money laundering operation back in November after finding a Turkish forum thread that detailed how small-time streamers with only 40 to 50 viewers were making a suspicious amount of money. Before that, Turkish streamer Ahmet “Jahrein” Sonuç, sounded the alarm by tweeting documents that proved the operation was laundering up to $2,500 per streamer per day. Turkish authorities eventually stepped in with a single-day raid that apprehended 40 suspects.
Some of the 40 suspects were reportedly minors. None of the allegations have been proven in court.
In no less frightening Twitch news, streamer and content creator Ludwig is sounding the alarm on the latest trend that'll almost certainly land Twitch in more legal trouble. Streamers are watching entire TV shows and movies live on Twitch with their audiences, a practice that almost certainly violates copyright law and could lead to an even worse DMCA blitz than what the music industry did in 2020.
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