Two ‘Robin Hood’ brothers who allegedly stole almost a billion pounds after a software glitch left them with a bottomless bank account that never ran out of money have been arrested after buying an illegal gun to protect their vast wealth.
Brothers Recep Gezek and Emre Gezek told their family, friends and neighbours about their amazing good fortune, helping them out financially, and then, like Robin Hood, they started handing out wads of cash to locals in financial need.
The pair bought a gun to feel safer, given that they now had so much money. But it was found when police carrying out a routine traffic stop decided to search the vehicle in which they were travelling. When quizzed, they reportedly said: “If you had this much money, you would carry a gun too.”
The pair, whose ages were not given but who live in the northern Turkish province of Samsun, had opened the investment account that never emptied on Friday, 25th February.
The bank involved was not named in order to protect its reputation over the embarrassing incident, which has been described as a software glitch. It allowed the pair to allegedly transfer a total of TRY 16.2 billion (GBP 829 million) before they were caught.
Emre had noticed that expenditures were not being deducted from the account, and, as an experiment, he first allegedly decided to transfer TRY 1 billion (GBP 51 million) from the investment account to a separate, deposit account.
To see if the amount was really in the account, he allegedly withdrew some money to another account he had with another bank, before withdrawing money from an ATM.
When he got home that same evening, he told his brother Recep what had happened, and the brothers then allegedly continued with the strategy, allegedly transferring a total of TRY 16.2 billion from the bottomless account to their deposit accounts.
The duo then allegedly paid off their credit card debts, bought themselves two mobile phones, and transferred money to a dealership to buy a BMW.
They also told their families about their good fortune and then informed relatives and neighbours.
They even allegedly asked anyone in debt or in need to come to them, and handed out money to everybody that turned up.
The ‘Robin Hood’ duo were almost caught when they started allegedly using wire transfers to pay cash to needy relatives, which were flagged up as possible fraudulent transactions and investigated.
Talking to the bank on the phone, Recep allegedly said that the money had been transferred from their investment account, and when the bank clerk asked if there was enough money in the investment account to make the transfer, he allegedly replied: “Obviously there is, as I was able to do the transfer.”
Convinced by Recep’s answer, the bank reportedly reactivated the account that they had blocked due to the suspicious transfers, and the brothers allegedly continued their ‘Robin Hood’ activities for a few more days.
Their activities were ironically caught not by bank safeguards, but by police officers who made a routine traffic inspection in the district of Ilkadim on the evening of Wednesday, 2nd March.
When the officers searched the brothers’ vehicle, they found an unlicensed gun, and, when asked why they were carrying it, the brothers allegedly replied: “If you had this much money, you would carry a gun too.”
They then showed the money in their bank account to the police, who reported the situation to the prosecutor’s office, which resulted in the brothers’ arrest.
In their first statements, they said that they had no bad intentions and that they just wanted to help people, adding that they had planned to report the situation to the state and donate the money instead of taking the huge sum and fleeing abroad.
The two brothers, whose bank accounts were suspended, were released on bail, and the investigation, which was started in Samsun, the province where the incident took place, has since been moved to the province of Istanbul, where the bank’s headquarters are located.
The TRY 16.2 billion that the brothers allegedly transferred to their own deposit accounts from their investment accounts reportedly adds up to half of the bank’s entire market. Their ability to make the transfers was described in local media as being down to a software glitch, with no further details reported for the time being.
The investigation into the incident is ongoing and it was not revealed how much of the money had been recovered.