Nearly 600 illegal migrants caught in Istanbul

Nearly 600 illegal migrants caught in Istanbul

Nearly 600 illegal migrants caught in Istanbul

Security forces have caught a total of 583 illegal migrants in a joint operation in Istanbul’s Arnavutköy district while they were attempting to reach Romania via the Black Sea.

Upon a notification that an illegal organization was preparing to smuggle migrants by sea, the gendarmerie, the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) and the Coast Guard Command launched a 10-month technical and physical follow-up.

Some of the illegal migrants were rescued when their boats were about to sink off Arnavutköy en route to Romania, and some were caught in a forest before getting on the boats.

Meanwhile, teams revealed that the organization’s members demand a fee of $5,000 to $7,000 from migrants for their transition to Europe, while escape plans and money transfers take place in five houses and two restaurants, frequently used as meeting addresses, in the Fatih district.

Detained in a joint operation, 11 of the 15 suspects, all of whom are foreign nationals, were arrested, while four were freed by judicial control decision.

Six fishing boats, nine inflatable boats, 10 cars, 35 passports, a pistol, 12 life jackets, 25 mobile phones, a pair of binoculars, a large amount of cash and many documents were seized during the searches conducted in the suspects’ homes, workplaces and vehicles.

Police also found out that the members of the organization opened the restaurants with the help of their relatives who have residence permits in Türkiye.