Turkish narcotics police carried out operations in Istanbul Thursday, seizing materials and machines used in illegal drug production with a market value of 60 million Turkish lira ($17.5 million).
Authorities in the Esenyurt district of Istanbul also seized 540 kilograms of raw material-- enough to produce 4 million captagon pills.
Police confirmed information that the suspects had set up an illegal drug lab and that they were planning to start producing the drugs. Authorities had observed the suspects and the drug lab for three months and carried out the operation on August 24, when the suspects began producing the drugs.
As a result of the operation, five people are now in police custody and, in addition to 540 kilograms of raw material, 60 kilograms of liquid chemical material, an oven for drying the pills, a pill pressing machine, a raw material grinder, and two scales were also confiscated.
Four of the suspects have serious criminal records for various crimes, while one female suspect, who is a kindergarten teacher, does not have any crime record. It is claimed that she was going to work as a courier for the drug producers.
Turkish police exhibited the confiscated materials and machines in the yard of the Istanbul Police Headquarters as legal proceedings continue for the suspects.