Turkish security forces seized 79 kilograms of heroin in an anti-smuggling operation in southeastern Turkey's Gaziantep province Wednesday.
Acting upon intelligence, the counternarcotic branch of the Hatay Police followed a truck with a foreign license plate that crossed into Turkey from Habur border gate along the Iraqi border.
Police stopped and searched the truck in Nurdağı district, and found the heroin stored in packages concealed with spices.
The driver of the truck, identified as M.M., was detained by the police.
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 abuse and smuggling. Since then, Turkey has been fighting on multiple counternarcotics fronts. It targets addicts through better rehabilitation and awareness campaigns. It also targets smugglers and small-time dealers with more operations carried out by newly-formed "narco teams" that especially focus on operations around schools and other places where the youth, the most vulnerable targets for drug peddlers, go.
Turkish security forces carried out more than 134,000 narcotics operations in 2018, according to the Interior Ministry.
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