Police find huge wine batch smuggled by Turkish diplomat
From online dispatches
AP file photoTurkish police have seized nearly 1,000 bottles of wine allegedly smuggled from France into Turkey by retired Ambassador Daryal Batıbay, broadcaster NTV reported.
Media reports had claimed Batıbay, Turkey’s current permanent represantative to the Council of Europe, illegally acquired around 2,000 bottles of wine.
A probe lauched in Strasbourg by Turkey’s Ethics Council confirmed the allegations, which resulted in police raiding two separate warehouses owned by Batıbay in Turkey.
Police seized a total of 937 bottles of wine and six bottles of champagne they found at the warehouses. The estimated price of the seized bottles was around 200,000 euros. Batıbay avoided paying customs duties for the bottles by declaring them as “household items,” NTV reported.
The Foreign Ministry has launched an investigation into Batıbay, who was reportedly in Turkish Cyprus.
Batıbay had said he was “surprised” when the claims were first published in a Turkish daily, saying he knew nothing about the incident.