A ton of marijuana found afloat off Ayvalık coast
The Turkish gendarmerie and coast guards have found 1 ton and 126 kilograms of marijuana in vacuum packs floating on the Aegean Sea after a small boat sank off the Turkish resort town of Ayvalık in the northwestern province of Balıkesir.
Authorities found the packets of the psychedelic drug had drifted all the way to the coasts of another northwestern province, Çanakkale.
Çanakkale Provincial Gendarmerie Command said the seized drugs had a market value of approximately 66.3 million Turkish Liras ($10.7 million).
The vacuum packs spread to the sea when the boat sunk off Yellice Island in Ayvalık district. One of the packets washed ashore on Maden Island, which a local noticed on May 6. The local then notified the Ayvalık District Gendarmerie Command, which determined that 26 kilograms of marijuana was inside the package.
Gendarmerie teams then conducted a search operation both on the sea and on the air via helicopters. They located the sunken boat off Yellice Island, which led them to more packets stuffed with 853 kilograms of marijuana.
The teams traced more drug packages all the way to the coast of Ayvacık town in Çanakkale. They found 210 kilograms of drugs in 14 packages and another 37 kilograms of drugs in a separate package.
The authorities later determined that the wooden boat had sunk due to an extreme overloading. Six people were detained in connection with the drugs. Five were arrested by a court order, and the other was released under a judicial control decision.