ISTANBUL: Istanbul police seized over nine tons of drugs during anti-narcotics operations in 2017, security sources said Wednesday.
The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media, told Anadolu Agency that during the operations 9.03 tons of drugs and 5,773,235 drug pills were seized.
Also, 45,840 suspects were arrested of which 4,826 were remanded in custody, the sources added.
One hundred and ninety-three foreigners from 45 different countries were among those remanded in custody.
Turkish authorities utilize various ways to track narcotics in the country and a new system will be installed to track narcotic content in the waste waters of metropolitan cities such as Istanbul, Ankara, İzmir and Adana.
Turkey, a transit country for drug smugglers working between Asia and Europe, is looking to curb domestic drug use.
In 2014, the government launched “The Rapid Action Plan Against Drugs” to counter drug abuse and smuggling.
The action plan covers all aspects of the struggle against narcotics abused by about 2.7 percent of the population, from raising awareness of their dangers and curbing demand to rehabilitation and treatment of addicts and facilitating social inclusion.
It also paved the way for the establishment of “narcoteams,” specialized police units active in neighborhoods where drug sales are concentrated.