By Izzet Taskiran
ISTANBUL (AA) – Four people were remanded in custody and three were arrested, as part of nationwide anti-narcotics operations, according to security sources on Thursday.
Three Uzbek nationals, who had been arrested at Ataturk Airport and in a hotel on Jan. 28 were remanded in custody by a court in Istanbul.
One kilogram (two pounds) of opium chewing gum was found inside the luggage of the two suspects -- identified by the initials S.K., 35, and Z.R., 55 -- according to a security source, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on talking to the media.
One of the suspects, S.K., was headed to Uzbekistan’s capital Tashkent, while the other one was going to fly to the Kazakh city of Aktau.
Later, the third suspect -- identified by the initials J.I., 29 -- thought to be linked to the incident, was arrested in a hotel in the Fatih district of Istanbul, the source added.
During another operation -- aided by a sniffer dog -- launched in the eastern Van province, almost 90 kg (198 lb.) of heroin were seized in a truck, while the driver was arrested.
Later, he was remanded in custody by a court in the city, for transferring and trading narcotics.
Also, in Samsun, the northern Black Sea province, one suspect was apprehended and 100 grams (0.22 lb.) of powdered heroin were seized along with a blank cartridge gun and an unlicensed pump rifle.
Separately, in the northwestern Tekirdag province, two suspects were arrested during operations conducted in the Suleymanpasa and Corlu districts, another security source said.