48 arrested for looting, defrauding quake victims 

48 arrested for looting, defrauding quake victims 

48 arrested for looting, defrauding quake victims

Authorities have arrested 48 people for looting or trying to defraud victims after powerful earthquakes hit Türkiye’s south, local media reported on Feb. 11. 

The suspects were held in eight different provinces as part of investigations into looting after Feb. 6’s 7.7-magnitude earthquake hit the region. 

Local media later reported that 42 suspects were held for looting in southern Hatay province, while six were arrested over defrauding a victim in Gaziantep by telephone. 

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced a three-month state of emergency  on Feb. 6 in the 10 provinces in southeastern Türkiye impacted by the tremor. 

Prosecutors can now detain people for an extra three days from four days previously for looting crimes as part of extended powers under the state of emergency, according to a decree published in the official gazette on Feb. 11. 

The president earlier the same day vowed the government would crack down on looters. 

“We’ve announced a state of emergency,” he said during a visit to the quake-affected province of Diyarbakır.

“This means that, from now on, people involved in looting or kidnapping should know that the state’s firm hand is on their backs.”