ISTANBUL, June 27 (Xinhua) -- Twenty Syrians have been arrested across Turkey over a money laundry network financing the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group, local Sozcu newspaper reported on Monday.
The network has set up shell companies in several Turkish cities, including Istanbul, to transfer large sums of foreign currency to their foreign bank accounts since 2011, with a money trail extending to countries like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Qatar and Kuwait, said the report, citing Turkey's financial intelligence Financial Crimes Investigation Board.
Approximately 55 million Turkish liras (about 3 million U.S. dollars) in assets were seized in intelligence operations, according to the report.
The arrested Syrians are either under refugee status or holders of residence permits.
The network also smuggled money into Syria through their militants in Turkey's southeastern city, Hatay, the newspaper said.
Turkish counter-terrorism units have been conducting operations against the IS, which has repeatedly launched deadly attacks in the country since 2015. ■