A 32 year old resident of Solingen, described as an organized crime underboss, was at the center of a €20 Million tax evasion plot uncovered by police investigators after an eighteen month investigation. According to prosecutors, a gang of twelve foreign born criminals forced Turkish cafes, internet shops and clubs to install gambling devices illegal under German gambling laws since 2008.
The activities of the gang were uncovered by investigators in September 2009 and was under investigation ever since. In October 2010, German Police special units executed search warrant on 122 locations within the city of Solingen and suburbs. This action resulted in the seizure of 251 slot machines, 52 internet terminals, two Mercedes-Benz limousines, €100,000 in cash and a Diamond Encrusted Rolex watch.
The 32 year old in question is one of the eight members of the gang the Police now have in custody. He is a brother of a 47 year old Mafioso, considered to be the head of much larger Turkish mafia crime family. Low level gang members included a programmer, who developed the online casino software for the operation. Others carried out office work, were responsible for operating the establishments, where gambling took place, and maintenance of gaming machines. Players, using the illegal slots and online terminals controlled by the gang, could potentially win large sums of money through internet gambling, yet most of the time they lost thousands of euros.
Twenty-five days of hearings are scheduled for what shapes to be a monumental trial, and after preliminary hearings, observers expect that number to significantly increase.