World Bulletin / News Desk
Security forces on Tuesday seized a total of 54,000 packs of smuggled cigarettes and arrested 16 suspects across Turkey, according to security sources.
The directorate general of customs enforcement teams at the Ataturk Airport seized 10,000 packs of contraband cigarettes, according to a security source, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
The customs teams started to scrutinize a suspect, who came to the Ataturk Airport via a flight from Iraq’s Erbil, and X-rayed his two luggage, the source said.
When detected the smuggled cigarettes in his bags, the teams X-rayed the 10 luggage of another five passengers, who were together with the suspect.
It was learnt that the owner of the packs was the Iraqi national Abdulkadir A., and the five others, including three women, were carriers.
The suspects were referred to the courthouse, the source said.
Separately, during operations in Istanbul’s Kagithane, Kartal and Maltepe districts, gendarmerie forces seized 16,000 packs of smuggled cigarettes.
Two suspects arrested in the operations were sent to jail.
Also, six suspects, including two Georgian nationals, were detained in the Black Sea province of Ordu while a total of 9,500 packs of cigarettes were also seized during the raid.
The operation was conducted on the directives of Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office.
In central Aksaray province, two others were arrested when 18,500 packs of contraband cigarettes were found hidden in a 18-wheeler.
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