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Turkey seized $18.7bn worth of drugs in 2020

June 22, 2021 at 2:26 pm

Heroin and cocaine [OverHook/Pixabay]

Turkey seized drugs worth 165 billion lira ($18.7 billion) in 2020, Anadolu reported.

Figures from last year also show security forces conducted 158,960 operations against drug smugglers and 23,693 suspects were arrested. Some 314 people died of drug consumption, they added, dropping from 342 in 2019.

Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu shared the statistics on Twitter, highlighting the increase in the number of seizures.

The minister said that the value of drugs seized in 2011 was 2.1 billion lira ($0.24 billion) and this increased to 69 billion lira ($7.92 billion) in 2019.

Last week, customs officers and police managed to confiscate more than a tonne of cocaine aboard a vessel travelling from South America, this was a record bust in southern Turkey.

Turkey is a transit route in drug smuggling between Asia and Europe. South America is the primary source of cocaine and similar drugs smuggled into the country, for both domestic use and as a transit point for smuggling to Asian countries.

READ: 4,600 drug-related arrests, convictions this year in Iraq