Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that senior executives at DenizBank are under investigation in connection with a case of fraud against football stars, according to Bloomberg.
Erdogan, who was speaking in an interview with journalists on his way back from the UAE, did not specify the nature of the investigation or provide any names.
Last week, judicial documents revealed that the manager of a branch of DenizBank orchestrated what is known as a $44 million Ponzi scheme to lure famous football players, including former players from Barcelona and Inter Milan, with promises of unrealistic returns on their investments. The bags of money were handed over to the manager, but as the investments grew rapidly, the repayments became unsustainable, leading to the collapse of the scheme.
“Turkey is a state of law,” Erdogan said. “Investigations are currently underway regarding the bank’s senior executives.”
DenizBank, did not yet respond to a request for comment when contacted over the weekend. The bank said earlier that it was not aware of these transactions until a customer filed a complaint last April, and preliminary investigations conducted by the prosecution showed that no banking crime had been committed.
The case, detailed in court documents, detailed undercover transactions involving piles of cash exchanging hands in inconspicuous locations, shedding light on an operation that roped in unexpected investors.
“Our citizens should not fall into the trap of scammers who offer huge profits in a short time with the promise of easy money,” Erdogan said.