ISTANBUL

The fugitive creator of an online Ponzi scheme game Mehmet Aydin was brought back to Turkey on Saturday evening.

Mehmet Aydin, 29, who surrendered to the Turkish Consulate in Sao Paulo, was arrested at the Istanbul Airport, as part of an ongoing investigation, after the plane arrived at 10.30 p.m. local time.

Aydin, also nicknamed “Tosuncuk”, who was also sought with a red notice by Interpol upon Turkey’s request, is accused of various crimes, including “establishing a criminal organization” and “fraud” and faces prison sentence of up to 75,260 years.

He will be taken to the Istanbul Police Department after procedures at the Istanbul Airport Courthouse.

Following an interrogation period of four days, he will be produced before the Istanbul Anatolian Court.

Several lawsuits were filed against Aydin at courts in Istanbul and Bursa over charges, such as “Fraud by Using Information Systems, Banks or Credit Institutions”.

In 2016, Aydin founded the Farm Bank, also known as “Ciftlik Bank” in Turkey, inspired by FarmVille social media game, leaving 3,762 people defrauded.

After complaints by thousands of users, a red notice was issued on March 19, 2018 based on an arrest warrant. But he disappeared and had been at large for the last two years.

Turkey’s Ministry of Justice contacted every country where Aydin was allegedly seen, within the framework of judicial cooperation, including Uruguay, Brazil, Panama, Honduras, Canada and Ukraine.

Upon hearings that Aydin was seen in Brazil, his extradition was requested from Brazil in June 2018. The request was repeated in Feb. 2021.

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