Turkey's narcotic police and its Dutch counterparts seized over 2 tons and 384 kilos of heroin in an international operation carried out in five countries, Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu told CNN Türk on March 4.
The collaboration started after the Turkish narcotic forces detected an organization that transports illegal substances from countries to the east of Turkey to Europe, Soylu said.
Başkanlığımız koordinesinde İstanbul Narkotik birimi ile Uluslararası Mücadele alanında yapılan çalışmalarda, Avrupa ülkelerine uyuşturucu madde sevkiyatı yapan organizasyon tespit edilmiş, Hollanda polisiyle iş birliği yapılarak eş zamanlı operasyonlar gerçekleştirilmiştir. pic.twitter.com/vjtqcjaf6Q— Narkotik Suçlarla Mücadele Daire Başkanlığı (@NarkotiksmDB) March 4, 2020
Upon that discovery, the head of the Turkish Narcotic Branch Office reportedly got in touch with their counterparts in the Netherlands.
The international forces recovered 1105 tons of heroin in Kazakhstan, 703 in Germany, 350 in Poland, 171 in the Netherlands and 55 in Turkey for a total of 2 tons and 384 kilos of heroin.
While Soylu gave no timeline for the operations, he said the legal proceedings for the suspects were ongoing.
A history of anti-war ops
2019 had been a record year with regards to the amount of illegal drug trafficking that was halted, Soylu said on Jan. 22 speaking from the southeastern province of Mardin, adding that Ankara would be carrying out a "total mobilization" policy against drugs in 2020.
"The war on drugs is part of the security approach we developed after [the coup attempt of] July 15," Soylu said.
Turkish narcotic forces conducted 16,904 arrests, 80,000 detentions and 45,000 operations in 2019, Soylu noted.
In 2019, the government reportedly increased the number of narcotic personnel in the gendarmerie by 27 percent and the narcotic police staff by nine percent.