Turkish authorities release crime syndicate leader wanted on red notice on $600 bail

Turkish police have captured İsmail Abdo, who was known for his drug market conflict with his former partner, nicknamed the “Kurdish Fox,” in Sweden and allegedly bringing the conflict to Turkey. The court released the organized crime leader on bail set at 20,000 liras ($620).

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A suspect named Ismail Abdo, who frequently engaged in armed conflicts with his former partner Rawa Majid, nicknamed “Kurdish Fox,” with whom he could not share the drug market in Sweden, has been captured in Turkey’s Adana province while wanted by Interpol with a red notice.

The Adana police stopped a suspicious car and identified the suspect, who was seen to be wearing a body armor, as Abdo, who has been wanted by Interpol for “leadership of an armed criminal organization.”

The police seize one unlicensed loaded pistol and 12 bullets with him.

Previosly, Majid was also captured by the Turkish authorities in Turkey while there was a red notice issued against him. Nonetheless, Turkey rejected Sweden's extradition request, and released him a few weeks later. It was revealed that Majid had been granted Turkish citizenship.

Majid was reportedly responsible for the killing of Abdo's mother, who lived in Uppsala, Sweden, in September 2023. The violent clashes between the two groups have led many gang members to attempt illegal entry into Turkey. 

On Sep. 6, 2023, members of Majid's gang engaged in an armed attack against Abdo's gang members at a cafe in Sarıyer, Istanbul, injuring an Azerbaijani citizen who was not involved in the conflict. In retaliation, Abdo's gang killed one of Majid's gang members and wounded another in an armed attack in Sarıyer on March 27, 2024.

Following his arrest, Abdo was referred to the courthouse and subsequently released on bail set at 20,000 Turkish liras ($620). The other Turkish citizen detained alongside him was released under judicial control conditions. 

Swedish daily Aftonbladet reported that the Swedish police have been working for a long time to find him in order to prosecute him in Sweden. The daily stated that the efforts have been slow, as he lives in Turkey as a Turkish citizen.

"No one should be able to continue to control and participate in crimes in Sweden from abroad with impunity. The government is doing everything we can to assist in judicial co-operation between countries," told Swedish Justice Minister Gunnar Strömmer in a comment to Aftonbladet.

Turkey's problem with organized crime syndicates

The conflict among drug traffickers, originating in Sweden, has now spilled over into Turkish territory, further complicating the situation. 

The Swedish media previously has reported that top secret documents shared with Turkey for the capture of Majid were found on the mobile phone of one of his gang members.

A source in the Swedish police was quoted as saying that the confidential information was "probably leaked by an unknown official in Turkey.” The news report assessed these allegations as a serious breach of the rules on information sharing between countries.

According to police sources speaking to VICE World News in April 2023, Europe's most sought-after criminals are managing to avoid arrest by obtaining Turkish citizenship. 

Individuals involved in large-scale drug trafficking are reportedly utilizing Turkey's practice of providing citizenship to investors, while also leveraging the country's decision to decline extradition requests for its recently naturalized citizens.

The Turkish government launched the "Golden Passport" program in 2018 that grants citizenship in return for an investment of $400,000 in order to attract investors and boom construction sector despite the opposition’s criticisms.