Police unveil cocaine traffic route between Columbia, Turkey
Anti-narcotics teams in the capital Ankara have unveiled cocaine traffic between a Colombian drug cartel, Cali, and seven Turkish drug barons in a nine-month surveillance, according to a report by the daily Hürriyet.
“Cali cartel sent the drugs in boxes of flowers, bananas, coffee or strawberries, using air and sea routes,” the report said on Oct. 3.
Cargo planes carrying the cocaine arrived in Turkey after stopping by in the U.S. and the Netherlands. The ships carrying the cocaine had only one stopover in Italy before arriving at the port in the southern province of Mersin.
“The Cali cartel sometimes dispatched cocaine over Ecuador or Brazil just to not seem suspicious,” the daily reported, adding, “The cocaine packages were covered with tar to prevent sniffer dogs from spotting the drugs.”
The seven drug lords in Turkey were given different roles in dealing with the cocaine. One was the “messenger” between the Turkish ties and the Cali cartel. Two were managing the financial leg of the operations. Two were responsible for handling them at ports and airports. The other two rolled them out to the market in Istanbul and the neighboring provinces of Kocaeli and Sakarya.
“Before the first delivery, the ‘messenger’ went to Columbia ‘to be taken hostage.’ Once the cocaine was transferred in a two-month ride and the money was paid later, Cali cartel released the messenger,” the daily said, explaining the trust bond formed between the Columbians and the Turks.