In a nationwide sweep late Saturday, police and gendarme troops launched a crackdown on gamblers. A total of 113 suspects were detained while 709 people wanted for various crimes were captured in the crackdown on illegal gambling dens.
More than 28,000 police and gendarme officers raided more than 20,000 locations, from coffeehouses to offices of associations in operations. Illegal gambling organizers often operate out of coffeehouses, a popular hangout for a majority of the nation, and they often pose as associations or unions to avoid suspicion.
A gang in southern Turkey made headlines for changing the title of a fake association they set up countless times to continue gambling despite police operations almost every week. In most cases, gamblers get away with fines due to legal loopholes.
In the weekend's operations, police fined 1,646 people, as well as 325 locations for secretly hosting gamblers. Seventy-seven workplaces used as illegal casinos were shut down. Gambling was banned in Turkey in 1998 but illegal gambling houses survive to this day.
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