The raid took place on Monday and the haul included 1.8 million Ecstasy pills. 30 kilograms of cocaine were also seized. Interestingly, the cocaine packages all had a photo photo of notorious Colombian drugs baron Pablo Escobar on the front.
Pablo Escobar controlled 80% of the world’s cocaine trade in the 1990’s. His reign was ended 26 years ago when he was killed by police in a shoot out.
A further 12 kilograms of opium gum was also confiscated.
The drugs were found in the boot of a car that had been under surveillance in the Istanbul district of Küçükçekmece. The seizure was part of an ongoing investigation by anti-drugs police. An assault rifle was also found with the drugs. Two suspects were arrested in the swoop.
Drug smugglers, moving drugs between Europe and Asia, often use Turkey as a transit country. Local authorities are looking to crackdown on this, as well as aiming to stop domestic use of drugs.
The Turkish administration initiated The Rapid Action Plan against Drugs in 2014, in a bid to stop drug use and smuggling on many fronts.
Operations focussed on stopping smugglers and small-time dealers are supplemented with rehabilitation and awareness campaigns. Other areas of focus for police are schools and other venues used by young people,as they are the most likely targets for drug dealers.
On Monday, 29 cities were targetted by police as they aimed to hunt down those promoting drug use on social media.
Ecstasy Identification Test
Police often use presumptive drug test kits to identify suspicious substances. These types of drug test kits are designed to quickly identify drugs that are found as result of these types of raids. In this case, an Ecstasy Identification Test or a Cocaine Identification Test could have been used by police prior to formal identification of the drugs by a laboratory drugs test.
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Photo Credit: Turkish Police