Turkish regulator MASAK releases 2021 Report. E-payment SARs top the stats, followed by banks.

Turkish regulator MASAK’(Financial Crimes Investigation Board) has released its 2021 Activity report. The document shows an upward trend of AML SARs coming mostly from financial institutions.

Turkish regulator MASAK (Financial Crimes Investigation Board) has released its 2021 report which details the numbers and nature of SARs it has received in recent years, as well as the cooperation of the country with international regulatory bodies and the capacity-building trainings it has conducted.

MASAK report states that the regulator has received 515’627 SARs in 2021. The most number of SARs came from e-payment companies and banks. The watchdog organisation report states that the increase in SARS coming from financial institutions is due to the rise in the number of dealers in precious minerals. Meanwhile, the report identifies a downward trend in TF SARs since 2017 – a statistic that can be tied to the defeat of IS in the Middle East, as well as to the continuous crackdown of Turkish authorities on terrorist organisations and their financiers.


The highest number of investigative cases were opened in 2021. The regulator has investigated 81.561 and prepared 7.338 reports or memo notes and shared them with law enforcement.


The report also explains the mechanisms how Asset Freeze orders coming from foreign governments, or the UN Security Council are enforced, which is done via Presidential executive orders. The UNSC orders are received by MASAK, who in turn communicates them to the President’s Office. The E.O.’s, after published in the official journal, are enforced, again by MASAK.


Only 3 asset freeze requests have been received from foreign governments in 2021, and as a result of which, 40 persons and 8 companies are subjected to asset freeze orders.



Helping investigate illegal gambling 

The regulator has opened 432 analysis files and investigated 37’054 persons in relation to the suspected crime of illegal gambling. Within the scope of tackling illegal bet ang gambling platforms, MASAK produced, in 2021, 321 Analyses, 54 reports on gains from criminal activity, and 65 Information Notes and shared them with Law Enforcement agencies.