The Liberian-flagged Berge Torre, a dry cargo ship, was intercepted by Turkish Narcotics authorities in the Gulf of İskenderun off the coast of Adana.
The operation led to the seizure of 52 kilograms of cocaine, Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya stated on Tuesday.
NARKOGÜÇ Operasyonları kapsamında İskenderun Körfezin Adana Yumurtalık açıklarında demirleyen Liberya bandıralı BERGE TORRE isimli Kuru Yük Gemisinde 5⃣1⃣ Kilo 7⃣5⃣0⃣ Gr Kokain ele geçirildi.
Gemi kaptanı, kaptan yardımcıları ve mürettebattan oluşan 2⃣6⃣ şüpheli şahsın… pic.twitter.com/A1QXnrSqV8
— Ali Yerlikaya (@AliYerlikaya) November 14, 2023
Video Credit: Ali Yerlikaya/Twitter
The Coast Guard’s Eastern Mediterranean Group Command, the Mersin Customs Smuggling and Intelligence Directorate, the Adana Provincial Security Directorate Narcotics Crimes Branch, and the Security General Directorate Narcotics Crimes Division worked together to execute the seizure.
Twenty-six people were detained in connection with the incident, including the captain and first officer of the Berge Torre.
The intercepted cocaine, which was painstakingly hidden inside 45 packages inside the anchor housing, highlights how sophisticated the smuggling operation was.
Minister Yerlikaya signalled a solid response to illegal activities by emphasising the increased surveillance of Turkish ports. The operation has strengthened Turkish law enforcement’s momentum since Yerlikaya took office in June.
This seizure is part of a more extensive campaign against the international smuggling of cocaine. The increased emphasis on stopping drug trafficking is consistent with Turkey’s resolve to confront accusations of participation in the international drug trade.
The incident highlights Turkey’s developing status as a nation used as a transit for illegal drugs, particularly cocaine.
According to data from a 2023 report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Turkey has seen a seven-fold increase in drug seizures since 2014.
This increase coincides with a 35 per cent increase in coca bush cultivation worldwide between 2021 and 2022, underscoring the need for more intensive measures to stop drug trafficking.
It is still unclear how these events will affect Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s cabinet reshuffle as the nation works to resolve its alleged involvement in global drug trafficking networks.
The 2.8 tons of drugs that were seized in Turkey in 2021—a record high—highlight the pressing need to continue efforts to break up these networks and strengthen the country’s position against drug-related crimes.
References: Turkish Minute, A News
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