185 kg of Cocaine Seized in Istanbul Amid Banana Shipment From Ecuador

Turkish narcotics police seized 185 kilograms (408 pounds) of cocaine Monday in an anti-narcotics operation in Istanbul, an official said.

Acting on a tipoff, Istanbul Security Directorate’s narcotics units seized a huge load of cocaine hidden inside a shipping container carrying bananas from Ecuador.

The market value of that quantity of the illegal drug is believed to be around 50 million Turkish liras ($9.3 million).

Turkish police are experienced at dealing with international drug trafficking, as the country lies on a transit route for drug smuggling between Asia and Europe. In 2015, Turkish security forces helped Italy seize 13 tons of drugs from a vessel sailing along its coast.

Turkey is also fighting a rising case of drug use, especially among youth, and has stepped up anti-narcotics efforts in recent years. The Interior Ministry recently announced that security forces carried out more than 134,000 anti-narcotics operations in 2018 and captured nearly 80 tons of cannabis, 19.6 million Captagon pills, 7.8 million Ecstasy pills and more than 15.9 tons of heroin.

Source: Daily Sabah

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