Turkey - 1,050 foreign passports seized in Istanbul raids. (HD).
Turkish police have seized more than 1,000 foreign passports and detained eight suspects in raids on multiple homes as part of an operation that targeted human smugglers in Istanbul.
A total of eight suspects were detained on Feb. 3 in the operation that came weeks after a historic deal with the EU to stem the migrant flow to the 28-member-state union in exchange for 3 billion euros aid for Syrian migrants living in the Turkish soil.
Teams from the Istanbul police’s anti-smuggling bureau conducted simultaneous operations against a migrant smuggling group in 14 addresses in Istanbul’s districts after a tip-off which was followed by a six-month pursuit.
Some 1050 original passports belonging to 50 different countries, including France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Switzerland were seized during searches conducted inside the raided houses.
Some 33 identity cards and driving licenses, along with 200 boarding cards and 10 seals from Istanbul’s Atatürk and Sabiha Gökçen airports, were also seized.
Police also caught a total of 197 suspects, including Syrians, Afghans and Iranians, before leaving Turkey with their prepared passports. However, one suspect, who was thought to be the leader of the group and identified as H.K., could not be found. It has also been reported the migrant smuggling organization had offered migrants a guaranteed departure for $15,000 and used original passports for them to use during their departure. Hmmm........How many false passports have already arrived in Europe? Read the full story here.