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8 suspects detained for migrant smuggling in Istanbul
Teams from the Istanbul police’s anti-smuggling bureau conducted simultaneous operations against a refugee smuggling group in 14 addresses in Istanbul’s Fatih, Bakırköy, Büyükçekmece, Bağcılar, Arnavutköy, Küçükçekmece, Esenyurt and Zeytinburnu districts after a tip-off which was followed by a six-month pursuit.
Eight suspects, including one of Syrian origin, were detained in the operations.

Meanwhile, a total of 1050 original passports belonging to 50 different countries, including France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Switzerland were also 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.
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