Turkish narcotics police officials have seized 610 kilograms of cocaine hidden in a container of bananas from Ecuador. The detection was done in the southern province of Mersin. Three people, including the owner of the company that was to receive the banana shipment, have been detained in connection with the incident.
An extensive operation by Turkish law enforcement against an international cocaine smuggling ring that resulted in the detention of 23 suspects and the seizure of assets exceeding 1 billion Turkish lira in June has thrust Turkey’s perceived involvement in the global drug trade into the spotlight.
Data from a 2023 United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime report underscored Turkey’s rising prominence as a transit country for illicit drugs, particularly cocaine. The report also revealed a sevenfold surge in drug seizures in Turkey since 2014.