Turkish security forces seized 103 kilograms (227 pounds) of heroin in an anti-smuggling operation in eastern Turkey’s Van province Wednesday.
Acting on a tipoff, the anti-narcotics branch of the provincial security directorate searched a parked car in Tuşba district. Police found the heap of drugs hidden in five boxes in the car’s trunk with the help of a sniffer dog named “Alpha.” The owner of the vehicle, identified as Z.D., was detained.
In a separate operation, provincial gendarmerie forces detained an Iranian national who was carrying two kilograms of methamphetamine, a white crystalline drug, during routine controls on the Van-Tatvan highway.
Police also launched an anti-smuggling operation in the Erbaa district of central Turkey’s Tokat province, detaining four suspects. Some 2,558 ecstasy pills were seized during the operation while the suspects were later arrested by court.
Meanwhile, the anti-narcotics branch of the provincial security directorate in central Turkey’s Kayseri province detained 8 suspects in simultaneous operations to 19 separate addresses. The operations were launched with the participation of 157 security forces as a result of investigations that have been continuing for two months.
Turkey, a transit country for drug smugglers working between Asia and Europe, is looking to curb domestic drug use. In 2014, the Turkish government launched “The Rapid Action Plan Against Drugs” to counter drug abuse and smuggling. Since then, Turkey has been fighting on multiple counter-narcotics fronts. It targets addicts through better rehabilitation and awareness campaigns. It also targets smugglers and small-time dealers with more operations carried out by newly-formed “narco teams” that especially focus on operations around schools and other places where the youth, the most vulnerable targets for drug peddlers, go.