At least 44 suspects have been taken into custody early Thursday in a drug trafficking operation in Istanbul, police said.
Around 500 police officers carried out the helicopter-assisted operation against street vendors who are suspected of dealing drugs in the Kuştepe neighborhood of Istanbul's Şişli district.
Arrest warrants have also been issued for 59 more suspects who were allegedly involved in drug trafficking, İstanbul Police Department Narcotic Branch Office said.
Police said they simultaneously raided 78 apartments and seized three pump rifles, two unlicensed guns, ammunition, drugs and documents showing drug trafficking notes.
The suspects were being monitoring for seven months, the police said.
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