Large-scale op against bootleg liquor gangs
ISTANBUL – Demirören News Agency
Turkish police have conducted one of the largest operations against a bootleg liquor production crime ring after prosecutors issued warrants for 107 suspects.
More than 200 tons of unregistered ethyl alcohol were seized in raids on 142 illegal warehouses and flats by special force teams in the early hours of Dec. 12.
Suspects in nine provinces - Istanbul, Adana, İzmir, Hatay, Kırklareli, Tekirdağ, Şanlıurfa, Niğde and Aksaray – were caught by the police. Thousands of bottles and equipment used in bootleg liquor production were also seized.
The suspects had been under physical and technical surveillance for several months, according to security forces, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
As in recent years, Turkish police have intensified operations and inspections around New Year’s Eve due to rising alcohol consumption.
Meanwhile, 25 stores selling alcohol without a license were temporarily closed and fined during nationwide inspections held on Dec. 11, with more than 2,000 police officers. The files of at least 140 suspects were sent to judicial authorities.