İstanbul police seize 3.5 tons of methamphetamine in ‘largest-ever bust’

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İstanbul police seized more than 3.5 tonnes of methamphetamine yesterday (November 23) in what was the largest-ever seizure of the substance at one time in Türkiye, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu has announced.

After six months of surveillance, the police carried out operations between November 16 and 23, which ended in the seizure of methamphetaine, noted the minister.

Twelve people were remanded in custody and legal proceedings were underway against 10 others, according to Soylu.

As part of the operations, the police first seized a total of 132 kilos of methamphetamine  in five different districts of İstanbul, the state-run Anadolu Agency (AA) reported.

Later, two main distributors and vehicles were identified and simultenaous operations were carried out on these addresses yesterday.

A total of 3 tons and 402 kilograms of methamphetamine was caught in the search carried out at the houses and the vehicles, with 1 ton and 746 kilograms liquid, and 1 ton and 656 kilograms crystal.

Over the past two weeks, the police has reportedly seized methamphetamine during raids across Türkiye, including Konya, Ağrı, Kastamonu, Kars, Malatya, Kocaeli, Van, Tekirdağ, Balıkesir, Erzincan, Yalova, Sakarya, Bursa, Siirt, Aydın and Manisa.

Meth was high on political agenda

The amount of methamphetamine seized in Türkiye rose five times from 2019 to 2021, with over 5.5 tons seized, according to a report by the Narcotics Department.

The issue was high on the country’s political agenda, with the main opposition leader accusing the government of turning the country into a “methamphetamine hub” in search for black money.

In a Twitter video on October 31, Republican People’s Party (CHP) Chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu had warned the public against “meth” addiction among youth and even children.

“Breaking Bad Süleyman is shutting his eyes to the poisoning of the children of this country. We will wage a struggle for our children on the streets,” he had said.

President and head of Justice and Development Party (AKP) Recep Tayyip Erdoğan used part of his speech at the parliamentary group meeting of AKP the next day, responding to Kılıçdaroğlu.

He said, “To make statements in order to incriminate a government that is waging the most effective struggle against drugs in the history of the country and its security forces will only serve drug lords.

“I am calling on all opposition groups who are intelligent and who are not off the rails. We do not have any intention to finance the current deficit with drug income. But some want to close their political deficit with drugs for sure.” (AS/PE/VK)

Source:Bianet

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