Security forces yesterday seized a total of 54,000 packs of smuggled cigarettes and arrested 16 suspects across Turkey.
The Directorate General of Customs enforcement teams at Atatürk Airport seized 10,000 packs of contraband cigarettes. The customs teams initially questioned a suspect who had arrived at Atatürk Airport via a flight from Iraq's Irbil and X-rayed his two suitcases. After discovering the smuggled cigarettes in his bags, the teams X-rayed 10 more suitcases of five other passengers who were traveling with the suspect. The authorities quickly discovered that the owner of the packs was Iraqi national Abdulkadir A. and the five others, including three women, were being used to transport them. The suspects were taken to the courthouse.
Separately, during operations in Istanbul's Kağıthane, Kartal and Maltepe districts, gendarmerie forces seized 16,000 packs of smuggled cigarettes. Two suspects arrested in the operations were sent to jail.
Also, six suspects, including two Georgian nationals, were detained in the Black Sea province of Ordu while a total of 9,500 packs of cigarettes were also seized during the raid. In the central Aksaray province, two others were arrested when 18,500 packs of contraband cigarettes were found hidden in an 18-wheeler.