Security units apprehend 42 migrant smugglers

Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya has declared a crackdown on migrant smuggling rings across Türkiye, announcing the apprehension of 42 smugglers and 333 irregular migrants in recent operations.

Providing insights into the operations, Yerlikaya disclosed that in Diyarbakır, 31 members of a migrant smuggling group were detained. The operation targeted an organized crime syndicate attempting to traffic irregular migrants into Türkiye from Iran, he said.

Subsequently, 17 individuals, including the group's leader, a foreign national, were arrested.

Meanwhile, six other migrant smugglers were apprehended in Şanlıurfa, with four of them placed under arrest and two under judicial control orders. Similarly, four smugglers were arrested in Adana and one in Batman, leading to the initiation of judicial proceedings.

The minister underscored the significance of the seizures made during the operations, which included unlicensed rifles, numerous cell phones and SIM cards and a substantial amount of foreign currency.

In a subsequent announcement, Yerlikaya revealed an expansion in the deployment of mobile migration point vehicles in Istanbul. The number of these vehicles has surged from 38 to 103, aimed at identifying suspicious individuals through fingerprint checks.

Furthermore, he disclosed that across the 29 metropolitan cities, the total count of these vehicles stands at 59. Highlighting their efficacy, he mentioned that since July of last year, 56,620 foreigners inspected in Istanbul have been redirected to removal centers for deportation.

"We will never give an opportunity to migrant smugglers trying to make our country a target and a transit route for irregular migration," Yerlikaya said.

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