A suspected member of an alleged Mossad network in Turkey has admitted that he spied for the Israeli agency under cover of working for a consultancy, the Turkish daily Sabah reported Friday.
According to the report, the suspect said during his interrogation that he had worked for the Israeli agency and received payment for his efforts.
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On Thursday, Sabah reported that 15 suspects were arrested a month ago for providing the Mossad with information on Turkish citizens and foreign students who study in the country.
The suspect had run a company in Istanbul that provided consultancy services to foreign students, the report says, adding that in 2018 the Mossad contacted him and asked him to collect information on Palestinian students in Turkey.
The suspect reportedly provided information and received payment via Western Union a week later. This process went on for three years, during which he received tens of thousands of dollars from Mossad operatives, the newspaper said.
Sabah, a pro-government daily and website, reported that to communicate with Mossad agents, the suspects used encrypted emails and software that generated fake phone numbers.
The paper added that the suspects received payments via international money transfer services, as well as Bitcoins. Most of the funds were transferred through middlemen such as jewelry stores and other merchants.
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One detainee reportedly holds an Israeli passport and received $10,000 for information he provided over the past year. Another suspect allegedly met twice with Mossad agents in Zurich.
According to the Turkish media, most of the detainees are Palestinians and the spy ring especially aimed to gather information on local and foreign students who might work in the defense industry in the future.
Since the beginning of September, the seven Palestinian suspects disappeared one after the other, and their families lost contact with them, according to Arab media reports at the time.
The Palestinian Authority informed the families that it was in touch with the Turkish authorities to locate their relatives, and that a special Turkish-Palestinian task force had been set up to investigate the affair.
Four of the seven missing are from Gaza, and three from the West Bank. One of the seven is a woman.