Turkish security forces seized 131 kilograms (289 pounds) of skunk cannabis in an anti-smuggling operation in northwestern Turkey's Tekirdağ province on Thursday.
Acting upon intelligence, the counter-narcotic branch of the Tekirdağ Security Directorate followed a rig that crossed the Turkish border from Greece and stopped the vehicle before it entered the city.
Police seized 131 kilograms of skunk – a potent, crossbred strain of cannabis – in four bags found in the vehicle.
Suspects identified as M.Ç., H.Y. and M.Ö were detained in relation to the drug smuggling incident.
Chairman of the Security Directorate Mustafa Aydın told reporters that the haul seized from the rig was the largest amount of the drug confiscated in Tekirdağ this year.
Also on Thursday, Turkish police detained five suspects in another anti-smuggling operation in central Niğde province.
The operation was jointly conducted by the Anti-Smuggling Branch of the Provincial Security Directorate and Gendarmerie Units after police received intelligence about the smugglers who were trying to transport drugs into Niğde from southern Adana province.
Two of the suspects detained related to the smuggling incident were identified as Afghan nationals.
Turkey, a transit country for drug smugglers working between Asia and Europe, is looking to curb domestic drug use. In 2014, the Turkish government launched "The Rapid Action Plan Against Drugs" to counter drug use and smuggling on multiple fronts. Efforts include outreach to addicts with rehabilitation and awareness campaigns, and operations targeting smugglers and small-time dealers carried out by newly-formed "narco teams." These operations especially focus on areas near schools and other places frequented by young people, the most vulnerable targets for drug peddlers.
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