İzmir public prosecutor launches probe into police for failure to detain suspects after harbor raid
İZMİR - Doğan News Agency
Up to 24 people are in custody on suspicion of bribery and corruption, following raids in five provinces. A large probe was launched in İzmir's port as part of an investigation launched by the Izmir public prosecutor. AA photoThe İzmir Public Prosecutor’s Office launched a fresh investigation into police officers Jan. 8 for failing to capture suspects who were sought during the raid on the commercial harbor operated by the Turkish State Railways (TCDD) a day earlier.
Prosecutors said that 10 people have yet to be captured since the raid early Jan. 7 although arrest warrants had been issued.
“Our Prosecutor’s Office has issued detention orders on 37 suspects. Twenty-seven suspects were detained until now, among whom three have been released following interrogation. As of this morning, 24 people are in custody while 10 people have not been apprehended,” the statement said.
The suspects, including eight TCDD officials, were taken into custody on charges of bribery, corruption, conspiring to rig tenders and leaking information about tenders as part of a fraud investigation launched by the İzmir Public Prosecutor.
Some reports on Jan. 7 also claimed that an arrest warrant had been issued for the brother-in-law of former Transport and Urban Planning Minister Binali Yıldırım, who works in the company of a CEO taken into custody during the raids.
The statement also implicitly referred to the dismissal of a deputy police chief and two department chiefs at the İzmir Police Department, who were in charge of the harbor investigations, only a few hours after the raids in an apparent tit-for-tat response of Interior Ministry officials. The relocated officers included the deputy chief of Izmir’s police force in charge of the Financial Crimes Unit.
“A probe has been launched into some the court and prosecution orders that failed to be implemented and developments that occurred following that arrest, capture and detention orders were conveyed to the judicial police,” the statement said.
The fresh graft investigation came amid a massive purge in the police department which culminated with the dismissal of 16 police chiefs on Jan. 8 as the government is engulfed in a vast corruption scandal.
The sons of two ex-ministers and the chief executive of state-owned Halkbank are still being held in custody since the graft raids on Dec. 17.