Fuel oil and drug smuggling doubles in 2012: Turkish minister
ANKARA – Anatolia News Agency
Customs and Trade Minister Hayati Yazıcı (L). AA PhotoThe amount of smuggled fuel oil and drugs that state officials seized in 2012 surged 2.5 times compared to the previous year, Customs and Trade Minister Hayati Yazıcı has said.
“Some 60.6 million Turkish Liras worth of drugs were seized in 2011 while the amount rose to 151.7 million liras in 2012. Likewise, smuggled fuel oil that was seized increased from 53.8 million liras to 113 million liras,” the minister said.
Smuggling cases totaling 743.7 million liras were revealed last year, with 151.7 million liras of them drug smuggling and the remaining 592 million liras the smuggling of commercial goods including fuel oil, electronic products and textiles.
Yazıcı said that the increase in the number of confiscated smuggled products was due to the state’s updated methods in combating smuggling. It moved away from physical checks, which are a waste of time, money and human resources, and adapted more scientific methods instead, he explained. “We set up vehicle and container surveillance systems, nuclear goods detectors, satellite tracking systems, flexible boats and plate identification systems. We will also enhance gate security soon.”
While the technological developments have eased the detection and inspection of smuggling for the state, the amount of smuggled electronic products have increased from previous years, with 1.8 million electronic goods amounting to 105.2 million liras confiscated last year, Yazıcı said.
The value of smuggled textiles also rose in 2012, hitting 66.6 million liras, cigarettes rose to 26 million liras and alcoholic beverages to 5 million liras.
Some 700 vehicles, including ships, trailer trucks and cars, worth 52.6 million liras that were used for smuggling have been also seized in the operations.