13 people arrested for human trafficking in İzmir
İZMİR – Anadolu Agency
DHA PhotoThirteen people allegedly operating human trafficking activities were arrested in the western province of İzmir early April 23, after many migrants were rescued illegally en route to the European Union.
A total of 13 of 17 people who were detained on April 22 on allegations of human smuggling have been arrested by a İzmir court after being interrogated at the prosecution office.
Four of the 13 suspects were Turks and nine were of Syrian origin, while the four released were also reported to be Syrians.
The İzmir Police Department’s Directorate of Anti-Smuggling and Organized Crime Branch launched a raid on addresses in multiple İzmir districts on April 22, detaining 17 people on allegations of organizing illegal migrations of foreign individuals.
A total of 7,055 Turkish Liras, 270 euros, 538 U.S. dollars, 97 life vests, 15 inner tubes, cell phones, SIM cards, memory cards, CDs and laptops were seized during the operation.
The arrests came after several instances of migrant rescues off Turkey’s western coasts.
On April 21, Turkey’s coastguard rescued 30 Syrians, including a child, from a boat heading toward Greece after water began to leak into the vessel on the Aegean Sea.
The migrants had been trying to reach the Greek island of Kos from the Turkish resort of Bodrum but their boat started to take on water during a storm. The coastguard was mobilized following a tip-off and intercepted the boat off Bodrum late April 20.
In another rescue effort, a total of 34 migrants, including a 3-year-old child, who set sail from Turkey en route to Greece’s island of Kos, were rescued April 19 after their boat sank off of Bodrum. Coast guard officials said the boat was carrying Syrians, Afghans and Iranians.
On the same day, a 33-year-old pregnant woman from Cameroon was reported to have given birth to twin children on a dinghy which had set sail from the Aegean province of Aydın’s Didim district and was en route to Greece’s Samos Island.
The twin babies, which suffered from hypothermia after being delivered, were taken to a hospital in nearby Rhodes via helicopter, Doğan News Agency reported. The mother and babies were reported to be in good health.
The Cameroonian mother was among 25 migrants trying to illegally cross to Greece via Turkey.