Over 6 tons of drugs seized this year, says minister
A total of 6.1 tons of drugs and 15.2 tons of materials used for drug production have been seized this year, Trade Minister Mehmet Muş has said.
He noted that earlier this month, customs officials first seized 1.3 tons of cocaine in a shipping container at the port in the southern province of Mersin.
“A few days later another 463 kilograms of cocaine were seized at the same port. Within a week, in two separate anti-drug operations 1.76 tons of cocaine were confiscated which nearly equals to cocaine seized in Turkey in a year,” Muş said.
The minister added that additional measures were announced in a directive on June 8 for customs aimed at preventing drug trafficking. The directive also included an analysis of drug trafficking routes, according to Muş.
The minister responded to criticisms on why authorities are not unveiling the recipients of the drugs seized or who sent those substances to Turkey.
“We have all the information regarding the delivery of the record amount of drug seized. We have the information as to where the drugs are shipped from, which ships delivered them, where they made a stop on the way to Turkey, who sent them and who were the indented recipients,” Muş said.
All the information has been passed on to judicial authorities, he added.
Based on that information, to date, six people have been arrested in connection with the 1.73 tons of cocaine seized in Mersin, the minister said.
Last year, authorities conducted more than 159,000 anti-drug operations, seizing 1.95 tons of cocaine. Some 232,000 suspects were captured and around 25,000 people were arrested.