News ID: 232555
Published: 1117 GMT October 10, 2018

Turkish narcotics seizures surge, $460m worth captured this year

Turkish narcotics seizures surge, $460m worth captured this year

A Turkish anti-narcotics police officer counts confiscated narcotics during a drug raid in Istanbul, Turkey, on January 16, 2018.

Turkey seized more than $460 million worth of narcotics in the first nine months of 2018, authorities said on Wednesday, a surge from a year earlier as Turkey ramps up its fight against illegal drug trafficking.

Both heroin and cocaine seizures rose by 51 percent, with ecstasy seizures up 245 percent, the Turkish Interior Ministry said, Reuters reported. 

Turkey is on the so-called Balkan Route of drugs trafficking which is used to supply the West with drugs from Asia and the Middle East, including heroin moving from Afghanistan to Europe.

A ministry statement said drug trafficking is one of the main financing sources for terrorist groups. Police operations against drug smuggling are up about 31 percent and detentions up around 28 percent this year, the Interior Ministry said.

Turkey has in recent years expanded its anti-narcotics activities following a rise in drug use and deaths caused by synthetic marijuana consumption.


Resource: Reuters
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