Turkey’s Labor and Social Security Ministry has been preparing to launch investigations on 600 social media influencers after the money laundering investigation into the Internet sensation Polat couple uncovered shell companies and hundreds of millions of Turkish Lira worth of suspicious transactions.
The ministry planned to look into influencers' social media posts depicting extravagant and luxurious lifestyles and to question them if necessary.
The Trade Ministry is also taking steps to introduce the Product Safety in e-Commerce Project, which will impose stricter inspection of goods sold online.
The move follows the bombshell arrest of the Turkish influencer Polat couple for “laundering of crime revenues.” Dilan Polat was a social media influencer and owner of a beauty salon chain with stores in 46 provinces of Turkey, as well as abroad. Her husband Engin Polat was her business partner. The Polats also sold beauty products through her e-commerce business.
The couple had risen to fame on social media for their extravagant lifestyle. Posts that featured private jets, anniversary celebrations projected onto the LED screens in Times Square, or 100-dollar bills used as hair rollers, drew public attention and caused suspicion about the source of such wealth.
The Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office launched an investigation into the couple and their extended family, and seized their assets.
Turkey’s Financial Crimes Investigation Board (MASAK) investigation found that three of the 16 companies owned by the Polat couple were shell companies, and the companies were involved in suspicious transactions worth at least 200 million Turkish Lira (7 million dollars).
Dilan and Engin Polat, along with 10 other suspects were arrested on Nov. 5 for “laundering of crime revenues.”