ADDS DETAILS ON OPERATION
By Sertac Bulur
ANKARA (AA) - Nearly 5 tons of powdered marijuana were seized in international waters on the Mediterranean Sea, Turkey's Interior Ministry said on Monday.
The "Unity Operation" against drug smugglers was conducted by Turkish police, gendarmerie and coast guard, the ministry said in a statement.
Acting on a tip-off, Turkish security forces determined that suspected drug traffickers aboard a Turkish flagged fishing boat set off from the country’s Aegean province of Izmir on Feb. 5 to the coasts of Mauritania, Morocco and Algeria, to acquire large amounts of drugs.
The suspects were aiming to transfer the drugs into fishing vessels in international waters before smuggling them into Turkish territorial waters.
Some 230 security personnel and two narcotic dogs raided the vessel aboard coast guard corvettes and helicopters, the statement said.
A total of 13 suspects including six crew members were detained across Turkey during the joint operation on accusations of drug trafficking, it added.
* Writing by Jeyhun Aliyev