Hargeisa (RAAD NEWS) 26-Nov-2017-At least 1,742 undocumented migrants, including women and children, were held Thursday during anti-human trafficking operations across Turkey, officials said.
Gendarmerie units found 171 migrants, including women and children stowed away in the back of a lorry on the road between Erzincan and Erzurum provinces near Tercan district, Erzincan Governor’s Office said.
The main organizer of the illegal trip was arrested while driver and owner of the lorry were fined 44,833 Turkish liras ($11,481), it added.
In northwestern Balıkesir province, a court remanded in custody 52 foreigners in Ayvalık district, while six others were remanded for human trafficking. Among the migrants were nine Africans and 43 Syrians, Balıkesir Governor’s Office said.
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Separately, 13 people were arrested during anti-smuggling operations in southwestern Denizli province; the suspects were found to be in possession of contraband cigarettes, alcohol and tobacco.
In Aydın province, 35 Syrians, who were trying to reach Greece using illegal routes, were held, according to a security official, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on talking to the media.
Separately, 114 foreign nationals who were trying to reach Greece were held in Dikili district of Izmir province, a gendarme source, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media, said.
A suspect, who allegedly helped people trying to cross into Greece illegally, was also arrested, the source added.
In southern Hatay province, 12 Syrians who illegally crossed the Turkish border were arrested from a bus station.
Also,1,430 migrants were held Wednesday when they attempted to cross the Turkish border using illegal routes, according to a statement issued by Turkish General Staff Thursday.
“1,348 migrants were held while illegally entering Turkey from Syria in addition to four others who tried to cross border to enter Syria,” the statement said.
Two migrants were detained while attempting to cross the Greek border to enter into Turkey using an illegal route, it said; 76 others were also held while trying to cross Turkish border into Greece.