ISTANBUL, July 27 (Xinhua) — Turkish security forces detained 61 migrant smugglers in operations carried out across the country, local media reported Monday.
Police launched operations in 12 provinces, including Turkey’s biggest city Istanbul, to capture the suspects who were believed to be members of an organized crime group, state-run Anadolu agency reported.
The Hurriyet daily noted that the suspects were helping migrants sneak into European countries by hiding them in lorries.
Police also seized 23 vehicles used in human trafficking, an unlicensed gun, and many mobile phones, the daily said.
Anadolu said 43 of the suspects were remanded in custody, and the rest were released on the condition of judicial control.
Hosting more than 3.7 million Syrian refugees in its territory, Turkey has been the main route for illegal immigrants trying to reach Europe. Enditem