The online trading industry has sadly seen its share of angry or violent clients taking direct action, but nothing as severe as this before. A number of Turkish citizens are now facing up to 56 years in jail over an alleged armed raid on the managers of a brokerage in Turkey in 2012, according to major newspapers reports from the country.
The forex brokerage allegedly operated under two type of setups, one as a registered broker in Turkey and the second as a non-registered market-maker broker which accepts cash deposits from clients – which some people prefer in order to avoid paying tax.
When some clients earned a profit and wanted to withdraw their money the owners refused to honor the deal and blamed the managers that they took the money for themselves. In response, these clients as well as the owners allegedly raided the managers’ offices and took them hostage.
In turn, the managers reported the incident to the police and now the owners and clients of the brokerages are facing criminal allegations of extortion, hostage taking, illegal forex trading, tax evasion and makings threats with a gun – charges that carry a maximum plenty of 56 years in Turkey.
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Hüseyin Gürsöz, CEO of boutique software and solution provider Meta Technologies as well as an expert on the Turkish market, describes the players involved: “The leading role in the story here are the owners of Venbey Yatırım – a only-forex business with average trading volume. ALB Menkul are 3rd biggest broker in Turkey, and Uguras Kıymetli Madenler has the biggest metal trading volume in Borsa Istanbul. Some of the others involved are also members of Borsa Istanbul but they don’t have any significant volume.”
Venbey Yatırım has provided the following statement:
“There has been some accusations against our company Venbey Yatırım Menkul Değerler A.Ş., [but] there has not been any criminal suit about our company neither in Turkey Republic nor on international base. Additionally, our company do not have any direct or indirect relation about the events that were mentioned in the news; and is not the party to the suit mentioned there.”
Clarification: A previous version of this article mentioned that the broker in question is Venbey Yatırım. The actual name of the firm in 2012 was Özbey Forex, and Venbey is a new legal entity created in 2014. The two companies share the same owners according to the court charges in this case and documents from the Turkish Company House register, obtained by Finance Magnates.