Record Cocaine Bust Found in Shipping Container in Turkish Port
Turkish authorities in the port of Izmit reported today the seizure of 540 kilograms of cocaine in possibly the largest single drug bust carried out by Turkish customs. The drugs were discovered in a shipping container arriving from Brazil.
According to the information released by the Turkish authorities, the seizure is part of an ongoing effort to stop the flow of illegal drugs into the country. The unidentified vessel arriving from Brazil was permitted to dock in the port where custom’s officials then began their investigation.
The ship and its containers were targeted for a search based on a risk assessment. Drug sniffing dogs were deployed and the drugs were found in a container carrying ferrochrome alloy. A total of 500 packages of cocaine were discovered with an estimated value of $29 million. The investigation is ongoing into the smuggling operation.
The Turkish officials reported that this was the second large drug bust of this nature at the same port. Last year, authorities seized 800 kilograms of cocaine aboard a cargo ship. In that bust, the cocaine was found hidden inside packs of ferrosilicon, an alloy used for deoxidizing steel, in electric and chemical industries.
In the last year, Turkey reports its interdiction efforts have seized 1.5 tons of cocaine as well as large quantities of heroin, cannabis, and methamphetamine. Earlier this year, Turkey began offering rewards for tips leading to the confiscation of large amounts of illegal narcotics.