10 detained in Van’s earthquake operation

10 detained in Van’s earthquake operation

VAN - Anatolia News Agency
The Van Public Prosecutor’s Office launched an investigation July 23 into claims that records regarding buildings damaged in the Van earthquake were changed in exchange for bribes, resulting in 10 suspects being detained by police. 

In the eastern province of Van, police units conducted raids at the homes of Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) personnel at 4 a.m. yesterday regarding charges of “bribery and forgery of documents.” As a result of the raids 10 suspects were detained. Police then searched the AFAD building, which is located along the Van-Erciş highway. Some documents and hard disks were impounded during the search. 

The Van Governorship issued a written statement regarding the investigation, which was opened by the Van Public Prosecutor’s Office. The statement indicated that the governorship had given orders to the provincial police office’s Anti-Smuggling and Organized Crimes Unit regarding notices given to the governor’s office, and an operation was launched with the permission of the Van Public Prosecutor’s Office. 

“In a notice given to the governor’s office, it was indicated that some entities acted in an organized manner to change the damage condition of buildings specified by the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) through a computer system in exchange for a bribe. Within the investigation launched upon this notice, the police detained 10 people including seven İşkur personnel on charges of ‘bribery and forgery of official documents’ today. After the examinations conducted so far, it was detected that the damage condition of 38 buildings was changed through the computer system. But no damage had been indicated in the written and originally signed archive records,” the statement read. 

The statement indicated that inspections and investigations on the subject were ongoing and multidirectional. 

A 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit the eastern Anatolian city of Van on October 23, 2011, causing massive damage and killing more than 600 people.