Turkish and Tajik authorities make key arrests in terror network disruption

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Turkish and Tajik authorities make key arrests in terror network disruption

Last month, Turkish police arrested an alleged high ranking ISIS recruiter and fundraiser in Istanbul, Turkey. The suspect, Shamil Hukumatov, is a Tajikistan national who, according to Turkish authorities, is associated with ISIS’s affiliate in Afghanistan, known as the Islamic State in Khurasan (ISKP or ISIS-K).

Hukumatov is alleged to have operated a fundraising and recruiting campaign that sought to recruit Tajiks to join ISKP in Afghanistan and to launch attacks against the Tajik government. In 2022, ISKP launched its first attacks in Tajikistan. 

TRM Labs is proud to have provided intelligence, tracing and investigative support during this investigation.

Specifically, in December 2022, TRM identified an address controlled by Hukumatov. That address had received around USD 2 million in USDT on the Tron blockchain. Donations came from both centralized exchanges and unhosted addresses. Having identified the campaign and traced its funds on the blockchain, TRM Labs notified Binance – the exchange used by the group to cash out some of their funds. Aided by its know-your-customer controls, Binance’s compliance and financial crime teams identified the person operating the account and alerted the local authorities, who went on to disrupt their activities. 

This information led to the arrest in April of two individuals in Tajikistan, and, on June 22, 2023, Turkish authorities arrested Shamil Hukumatov, the senior ISKP fundraiser allegedly behind the fundraising campaign. 

This case is the result of global cooperation between the public and private sectors and an example of the way law enforcement, working closely with the private sector, are disrupting terror networks using the power of the blockchain.

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