Turkish customs officials discovered 235 kilograms of cannabis stashed in a truck on the Turkish-Bulgarian border Friday.
The truck was stopped at the Kapıkule border crossing when an X-ray scan discovered "suspicious density" at the back of the truck. Searching 10 suitcases at the back, the authorities found 193 packs of cannabis weighing some 235.338 kilograms. The truck driver was detained.
In another operation in Istanbul, security forces detained four alleged drugs buyers. The suspects were remanded in custody on charges of drug smuggling.
Turkish police are experienced at dealing with international drug trafficking, as the country lies on a transit route for drug smuggling between Asia and Europe.
Earlier this month, Turkish and Greek police seized millions of pills in a joint narcotics operation in Greece. In December, in another joint operation, this time with Serbian and Bulgarian police, Turkish counternarcotics teams made their largest-ever narcotics bust abroad along the borders of Serbia and Bulgaria and seized some 500,000 ecstasy pills from a truck heading for Turkey.
The Interior Ministry recently announced that security forces carried out more than 134,000 narcotics operations in 2018 and captured nearly 80 tons of cannabis, 19.6 million Captagon pills and 7.8 million ecstasy pills, along with more than 15.9 tons of heroin.
The country blamed terrorist groups, the PKK in particular, for the booming drug trade. The PKK is accused of smuggling drugs to and from Europe as well as the cultivation of cannabis in southeastern Turkey as a way to fund its illegal activities.
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