15 released pending trial in massive ID theft in Turkey

Fifteen people charged with selling computer programs offering illegally acquired identity information on nearly the country’s entire population were released Wednesday pending trial in Istanbul.

Police announced Tuesday the cracking of the ring that had been stealing Turks’ identity information, including their names, addresses and telephone numbers.


The Hürriyet reporter wrote that had he first gotten wind of the identification theft a few days previously, by coincidence, during a conversation in a lawyer’s office, and later learned that the data had allegedly come from inside sources at the Central Population Administration System, or MERNİS, project, which is establishing a nationwide system of electronic data collection.

“A 20-year-old young man entered the office and started touting a computer program. He opened the program on a laptop and searched for the people we wanted by name and surname. Of course, we demanded our names be searched first,” Atilla wrote. “After he wrote my name and surname, the search produced a result in 25 seconds. My Turkish identity number, my mother’s and father’s names, my birthplace and birth date and my address details were all of a sudden disclosed.”

Read more on the Hurriyet Daily News.

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