Over 200 kg of heroin seized in Turkey’s east
ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
The police searched various homes in Van’s Saray district on suspicion of illegal drug activity and seized 39 kg of heroin, said the source.
Six suspected drug traffickers were later remanded in custody, the source added.
In a separate operation in Viranşehir in the Şanlıurfa province, anti-drug teams seized 172 kg of heroin from a van, the source said.
One suspect escaped during the operation.
Also last week, security forces seized 132 kilograms of heroin in Van.
The police on Oct. 11 stopped a truck in the Gürpinar district on suspicion of illegal drug activity and found 250 packets of heroin.
Two suspected drug traffickers were remanded in custody following the incident.
Turkey seized more than $460 million worth of narcotics in the first nine months of 2018, authorities said on Oct. 10, a surge from a year earlier as Turkey ramps up its fight against illegal drug trafficking.
Both heroin and cocaine seizures rose by 51 percent, with ecstasy seizures up 245 percent, the Interior Ministry said.
Turkey is on the so-called Balkan Route of drugs trafficking which is used to supply the West with drugs from Asia and the Middle East, including heroin moving from Afghanistan to Europe.
A ministry statement said drug trafficking is one of the main financing sources for terrorist groups. Police operations against drug smuggling are up about 31 percent and detentions up around 28 percent this year, the ministry said.
Turkey has in recent years expanded its anti-narcotics activities following a rise in drug use and deaths caused by synthetic marijuana consumption.