965,000 pills bound for Saudi Ara­bia in­ter­cepted in drug bust

Daily Sabah (Turkey) - - National -

NAR­COTICS po­lice in the south­ern prov­ince of Adana dis­cov­ered 965,000 Cap­tagon pills that were go­ing to be smug­gled into Saudi Ara­bia.

The pills were found in the cargo ware­house of Şakir­paşa Air­port shortly be­fore they were to be loaded on a cargo plane. No sus­pects were de­tained so far but au­thor­i­ties an­nounced an in­ves­ti­ga­tion is un­der­way to find “in­ter­na­tional con­nec­tions.”

The seizure came af­ter a tip-off to po­lice who stormed the ware­house with k-9 units. The po­lice dogs de­tected drugs hid­den in boxes of wa­ter fil­ters des­tined for Saudi Ara­bia.

Adana po­lice Chief Se­lami Yıldız said this is the sec­ond time they in­ter­cepted drug ship­ments to Saudi Ara­bia, not­ing that more than 2.7 mil­lion pills - also hid­den in boxes of wa­ter fil­ters and pis­tons - were seized in pre­vi­ous op­er­a­tions.

Saudi Ara­bia is one of the main mar­kets for the drug, where they are com­monly seized. Ac­cord­ing to a Reuters re­port, ex­perts es­ti­mate that some 40 per­cent of drug users be­tween the age of 12 and 22 in Saudi Ara­bia are ad­dicted to Cap­tagon, a pill com­monly seized in op­er­a­tions in Turkey. In March, Is­tan­bul po­lice seized 320,000 Cap­tagon pills bound for Saudi Ara­bia. Cap­tagon, a syn­thetic drug made from am­phet­a­mine fenethylline, is cheap to pro­duce, and its com­po­si­tion in­cludes widely avail­able le­gal sub­stances.

Turkey is a tran­sit route for drug smug­gling as a cross­road be­tween Europe and Asia. The United Na­tions Of­fice on Drugs and Crime says the Balkan route that tra­verses Iran, Turkey, Greece and Bul­garia across south­east­ern Europe to the western Euro­pean mar­ket is the main heroin traf­fick­ing cor­ri­dor. Smug­glers, of­ten work­ing for ter­ror­ist groups or aided by them, mostly use ships and trucks for trans­port­ing drugs to and from Turkey.

Po­lice dis­played the cap­tured pills for the press yes­ter­day.

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