Turkey seizes 13 tonnes of drugs in intl waters near Libya

Turkish security forces seize 13 tonnes of marijuana from Bolivian-flagged ship in international waters near Libya, investigation underway

Photo by: AA (Archive)
Photo by: AA (Archive)

Turkish security forces have seized 13 tonnes of illicit drugs from a Bolivian-flagged vessel in international waters off the coast of Libya.

According to security sources, at least 10 foreigners were detained onboard by Turkish security officers.

According to Turkish Interior Ministry, the haul of marijuana was found during an air-supported operation by Turkish security forces northeast of Tobruk late on Tuesday.

The ministry announced that the Turkish Security Directorate’s anti-narcotics unit received information on the Bolivian-flagged ship and contacted the Turkish Coast Guard.

The Turkish Coast Guard determined the location of the ship on Jan. 3 and began to pursuit it with a plane and ship.

The operation was authorised by Turkish Foreign Ministry in cooperation with the Bolivian government and in line with UN treaties on drugs trafficking.

Officials say the ship will be brought to the nearest Turkish territorial waters to complete legal procedures.

The Interior Ministry said it was Turkey’s first security operation in international waters. Ministry officials also said the 13 tonnes of marijuana was the biggest amount of illegal narcotics seized in a single operation.

AA, TRTWorld and agencies