1 ton of cocaine seized at Mersin Port
Custom enforcement officers have seized 1 ton of cocaine at the Mersin Port in southern Turkey.
This is the largest amount of cocaine ever seized in the country, Trade Minister Mehmet Muş said on Twitter, congratulating the General Directorate of Customs Protection units for the "successful operation."
The cocaine was seized on a Liberia-registered ship, which arrived at the port from Ecuador, the Mersin Governor's Office said in a statement.
The units launched the operation following a tipoff that a ship, which sailed from Ecuador, was carrying 1 ton of cocaine, according to the statement.
The drug was stashed in 1,000 packages in banana containers, the statement said, adding that further investigations are underway.
Murat Cihan, deputy local police chief of Mersin, noted that the surveillance operations, coordinated with the Customs Protection, took around one month.
Cihan noted that the police in Mersin also seized 615 kilograms of cocaine back in 2019. "We will carry out even more successful operations," he said.
"The initial information suggested that the ship arrived from Ecuador, but the investigation is underway. Some detentions will surely be made," Cihan told reporters.
Last year, anti-drug operations in Turkey seized a record amount of narcotics last year and arrested the most drug-trafficking suspects in the country's history,
Security forces conducted 159,259 counter-narcotic operations across the country in 2020.
During these raids, they seized 4,168 kilograms of methamphetamine, 1,954 kg of cocaine, over 11 million of ecstasy pills and more than 4 million other types of narcotic pills.
Of the 231,578 suspects held in the operations, 24,781 were remanded in custody.