40 people arrested in connection to $10m Twitch money laundering scam

Twitch logo with Bits symbolTwitch

40 people have reportedly been arrested as a result of the money-laundering scam that saw creators making millions on Twitch, having abused the platform’s monetization systems.

In November 2021, Twitch confirmed that they were to take action against around 150 streamers, primarily in Turkey, over an alleged money laundering scandal, that could amount to over $10 million in laundered funds.

It was discovered that some small streamers were making hundreds of dollars every day as Bits were donated to them in bulk, then they would refund around 70-80% back to the viewers — who were reportedly using stolen credit cards to make the donations.

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Many popular names were dragged into the ordeal or admitted to have (knowingly or not) benefitted from the process, including the likes of Acend Valorant superstar Mehmet Yağız ‘cNed’ İpek.

cned valorant acendRiot Games/Acend
CNed didn’t report a huge donation believed to be from a launderer at the time of the incident.

On January 4, Turkey’s Demirören News Agency (DHA) have reported that 40 people have been arrested in connection with the scams.

According to reports, Turkish police detained 40 people on Tuesday, January 4, after operations in 11 different provinces.

They reported that some suspects had collaborated with streamers who were aware that the Bits payments were made using stolen credit cards and took their share. DHA also reported that some of the suspects detained were minors, though a figure was not revealed in the immediate aftermath of the situation.

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If found guilty, it remains to be seen what punishments will be meted out, with around 150 users reportedly taking part, it could still be some time before everyone involved is identified.

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