Security forces seize large cache of illegal drugs in operations across Turkey

Published 13.05.2019 23:02
Updated 13.05.2019 23:16
Police inspect cocaine hidden in cigarettes after the drug was seized from a suspect in Istanbul's Fatih
Police inspect cocaine hidden in cigarettes after the drug was seized from a suspect in Istanbul's Fatih

Turkish security forces seized several caches of illegal drugs and detained suspected drug dealers as part of an ongoing crackdown on drug smuggling across the country on Monday.

The border command units in northwestern Edirne province seized 132 kilograms of skunk, a potent drug produced from genetically-modified cannabis in four suitcases found in the military zone along the Greek border.

The Chief Public Prosecutor's Office launched a probe into the incident.

In a separate operation, a suspect in Istanbul was caught red-handed by the police in Bağcılar district on the European side, when he came to pick up a delivery of 4.80 kilograms of drugs sent via a courier company.

The suspect identified as O.C. was later arrested by a court.

Meanwhile, security forces seized 17.665 kilograms of drugs in street operations launched in 27 provinces across Turkey over three days, the General Directorate of Security said in a statement on Twitter.

The statement said that along with that figure, 28.946 drug pills, 13 pistols, and rifles were also seized by security forces. Some 34,516 Turkish liras belonging to drug smugglers were also confiscated during the operations.

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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