Police detain 18 in anti-trafficking operations in 5 provinces
İZMİRA total of 18 people were detained on March 29 as police from the western province of İzmir carried out simultaneous operations in five different provinces against a suspected web of human trafficking organizations.
Based on intelligence gathered by the police, a technical and physical search was launched against 16 identified addresses in İzmir, Istanbul, the Black Sea province of Samsun, the Central Anatolian province of Aksaray and the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa, which were raided in simultaneous operations.
The police said most of the detainees were Syrian nationals, as they seized cryptic documents, lists of migrants, multiple agendas, documents, digital materials, money counting machines and foreign currency banknotes.
While the detainees were brought to the İzmir police headquarters, the police said the operations were ongoing and the number of detainees could increase.
The raids were the latest in a series of operations targeting human traffickers, who have been organizing illegal journeys for thousands of mostly Syrian migrants in their pursuit of reaching Europe.
Following a recent deal with the EU, Turkey stepped up its measures to prevent the migrants’ illegal passage to Europe across the Aegean Sea.
According to the deal, Turkey began taking back migrants who had reached Europe as of March 20, and for every migrant Turkey takes back, the EU is set to take one migrant from Turkey, in an effort to reduce the illegal crossings, which has caused the deaths of around 4,000 migrants since the beginning of 2015.