Turkish customs on Tuesday seized 463 kilograms of cocaine in a container from Ecuador in the southern province of Mersin, Turkey’s Trade Minister Mehmet Muş has announced.
The 404 cocaine packets were discovered in a banana container, similar to the 1.3 tons of cocaine seized at the same port last week.
Offering his thanks to the customs units, Muş tweeted, “We will not allow smugglers of poison,” as he announced the operation.
An investigation has been launched by the Mersin Chief Pubic Prosecutor’s Office.
The 1.3 tons of cocaine seized in Mersin last week was the largest amount of cocaine ever seized in Turkey, according to Muş.
The crackdown on drug smuggling came after mob boss Sedat Peker had revealed the alleged involvement of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in international cocaine trafficking.
Erkan Yıldırım, son of former vice president Binali Yıldırım, who is currently deputy chairman of the AKP, was part of a major drug trafficking ring involving Venezuela and Turkey, Peker had claimed in a video posted on YouTube.
According to Peker, Erkan Yıldırım traveled to the Venezuelan capital of Caracas in January and February to establish a new drug trafficking route following a raid in Colombia last year when Colombian authorities seized 4.9 tons of cocaine headed for Turkey. Peker said measures implemented by Colombian authorities forced the Turkish drug network to find a new route via Venezuela.
Peker, the head of one of Turkey’s most powerful mafia groups who was once a staunch supporter of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has since early May been setting the country’s political agenda through videos he posts on YouTube, each of which reaches over a million viewers on the first day of their release. The mafia boss, who lives in Dubai and is the subject of an outstanding warrant in Turkey, has been making shocking revelations about state-mafia relations, drug trafficking and murders implicating state officials.
Peker’s claim about Erkan Yıldırım was immediately denied by his father, Binali, who said that Peker was lying.