Several members of the Turkish Senate have been implicated in a drug smuggling ring, the Turkish Minister of the interior, Ferit Kubat, said on Sunday (March 12).
SVs ZOOM TO MCU Arrested suspects interviewed by official
SV Second into cell
SV & CU Official inspecting cars (2 shots)
Five men in custody addressed by an official and going behind bars; investigators examining cars allegedly used for illegal drug traffic.
Initials SGM/0252 SGM/0240
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Several members of the Turkish Senate have been implicated in a drug smuggling ring, the Turkish Minister of the interior, Ferit Kubat, said on Sunday (March 12). His statement followed arrests and seizures of morphine in France and Istanbul last week.
The Minister told reporters that investigations following the arrests the previous weekend of right-wing Turkish Senator Kudret Beyhan - when 320 pounds (146 kilos) of morphine base were also seized - had led to a police raid on a car dealers yard in Istanbul.
The police detained five people and found 240 pounds (108 kilos) of morphine base - valued at about twelve-and-a-half million pounds sterling on the illicit American market.
Mr Kubat said this raid led to information on other members of a drug smuggling ring, including senators. He hoped investigations would be completed by next weekend.
SYNOPSIS: Five men were detained at Istanbul Police headquarters this week following a police raid on a car-dealers yard where 240 pounds of morphine base were seized. The raid followed on the arrest in France earlier of Turkish Senator Kudret Beyhan. One of those arrested in Istanbul is the last owner of the car in which the Senator was detained.
Outside the Narcotics Bureau investigators checked tow cars said to have been used for smuggling drugs. In one, the Chevrolet, police found the 240 pounds of morphine base seized in Istanbul. The other, a Turkish-made Ford, is alleged to have been used by Senator Beyhan on a previous smuggling trip to France, last December. Turkish Interior Minister Forit Kubat says that several Turkish Senators are implicated in a drug-smuggling ring.