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Istanbul - The crackdown on stock market manipulation reveals that four suspects signed a ’protocol’ among themselves, according to the police. The protocol, defined as a ’gentlemen's agreement,’ coordinated moves of the manipulators.
Those who are accused of stock manipulation and insider trading at the Istanbul Stock Exchange, or IMKB, have reportedly inked a "gentlemen's agreement" among themselves, according to recent allegations.
Four of the suspects, who have allegedly hauled in more than 20 million Turkish Liras via defrauding small investors by speculating, have signed a "manipulation protocol" among themselves. The protocol was based on acting together and not botching the tricks of each other in transactions that were made separately, according to the results of the investigation and documents obtained by the financial crime police.
During the ongoing investigation, the police discovered an interesting document. The document includes signatures of Bekir Sani Karayal, the alleged chief of the gang and alleged speculators Kenan Ak, Murat Aksoy, Mehmet Akdere. According to the protocol, a stock manipulated by one member could not be "messed with" by another member. The protocol also required them to act together on a given stock that was chosen as a "common target." This document is now among the most important pieces of evidence the police have obtained in the crackdown against the biggest manipulation in the history of the IMKB.
Famous individuals also among those involved According to police allegations, Karayal made suggestions to some people, allegedly including some famous individuals, concerning the stocks to which he will add value. Karayal also afforded verbal guarantees concerning the price of these stocks. However, stocks purchased in line with the tip obtained from Karayal took dives due to the recent crisis. Those who lost money demanded it from Karayal and he made payments to some who threatened to go to the police.
Meanwhile, hearings for 27 people of the 45 taken into custody in Istanbul, İzmir and Ankara on claims of manipulation were completed Monday. These suspects, including Karayal and Galip Öztürk, a businessman, were taken to the Şişli Public Prosecution Office. Twenty people, including Öztürk, were released after their hearings. The court disallowed the judicial supervision requested for three people and released seven people by not approving the arrest request of the prosecution. Thus, out of the 45 people, 42 people were released while three were arrested.
Van Et shares gain on Öztürk release Van Et, the publicly traded company of Öztürk, declined rapidly due to the crackdown, but have gained 15 percent yesterday after Öztürk was released.
The company has lost 39 percent of its market value since its April 1 peak. As of the end of November, Van Et shares were trading at 0.87 lira. However, they ranged between 1.38 and 2.20 liras in January. The shares peaked at 4.16 liras on April 1, a day before the operation. Yesterday’s share price still represents a 80 percent gain since Jan. 1.
Other shares used as instruments in the manipulation are listed as Penguen Gıda, a food company, Viking Kağıt and Olmuksa, two paper companies. The shares of these companies rapidly decreased or increased throughout the past months.
Among those released is also Duncan Blake, the Scottish executive of Merko, a Turkish food processing company. According to media reports, a lawmaker was also among the alleged stock manipulators.