So far only a few “money collectors” have been convicted at the Vienna Regional Court, but today the trial against several alleged masterminds, including the mother and sister of the gang leader, starts. This – a Turk who has lived in Vorarlberg for a long time – is supposed to control criminal activity from the Istanbul area.
Partly drove to the bank with victims
Using spoofed phone numbers, i.e. phone numbers that have been changed by computer technology, senior citizens whose first names indicate their age are targeted. They are told on the phone that their name is on a list that the police have seized and that burglars are about to “work through”. In order to save your money and valuables, a colleague from the police will come by shortly to keep your assets safe from the burglars – more on that in False Police Deployed Millions.
In dozens of cases, those affected have surrendered their jewelry and financial reserves to the fake police officers who knocked on their door a few minutes after such telephone calls. In some cases, victims were even chauffeured by the swindlers to the bank, where they cleared their lockers and handed the contents over to the supposed police officers.
Mother and daughter face several years’ imprisonment
The “pulling the cord” cannot be bothered by the local judiciary for the time being, as he avoids leaving Turkish soil as much as possible. Since there is no legally binding agreement with Turkey regarding the prosecution of the respective citizens, the Turkish citizen is not within reach of the Viennese authorities.
However, his 55-year-old mother and his 26-year-old sister, who traveled to Vienna at the end of February 2020 to take over loot, were arrested. The two had already taken a plane to Belgrade in 2019 to receive a “bulk delivery” of the treasures stolen in Vienna and to take them to Turkey. The sister later complained to the gang leader via WhatsApp.
In the previous year, sister and mother came to Vienna via Budapest, apparently this time they wanted to have the loot transported from Hungary to Turkey by air freight. Now the accused women, who have prominent defense lawyers on their side in the form of lawyers Christian Werner and Philipp Wolm, face several years’ imprisonment if convicted. The public prosecutor’s office accuses them of criminal association and money laundering.
A total of six defendants in court
In addition to them, four other defendants – all of whom have been friends of the family for many years – will have to answer before a jury panel. One of them – a 42-year-old family man – may have played a central role in the handling of the gang’s criminal business in Vienna.
As a rule, the fake police officers are said to have given him the loot, which he then supposedly sent to Turkey – partly by messenger, partly by post. The prosecutor assumes that the 42-year-old is responsible for the transfer of at least 600,000 euros. He is said to have “bunkered” 200,000 euros under his bed.