Minister of Commerce Mehmet Muş stated that they had smuggled 2021 billion 76 million Turkish liras worth of smuggled goods in 7, an increase of 749 percent compared to the previous year, and said, "An important part of the contraband we seized consists of narcotic substances." said.
In his speech at the "2021 Anti-Smuggling Evaluation Meeting" held at the Ministry's Command and Control Center, Muş said that they continued their anti-smuggling activities without slowing down last year.
Pointing out that despite the negative effects of the Kovid-19 epidemic conditions, the Customs Enforcement teams and all relevant Ministry personnel continue to work with great sacrifices throughout the country, especially at the border gates, Muş said, “As a matter of fact, thanks to the work that continues throughout the year without slowing down, it is 76 percent compared to the previous year. With an increase of 7 billion 749 million Turkish lira, we have seized illegal goods. Drugs constitute a significant part of these contraband items we seized. During 2021, we achieved great success by preventing the entry of cocaine, heroin, liquid heroin, methamphetamine and captagon drugs into our country. In 2021, a total of 10,8 tons of narcotic substances were seized by our Customs Enforcement teams. While we seized over 2 tons of cocaine and heroin, one of the narcotic drugs we seized last year, our captagon seizures exceeded 1,5 tons, while our marijuana and khat seizures exceeded 1 ton each.” he said.
Reminding that 1,7 tons of cocaine were seized in containers loaded with bananas in a port in Mersin, and 6,2 million captagon drugs were seized between building stones in Iskenderun, Muş said, “However, 469,2 kilograms of khat-type drugs were seized in Istanbul. The seizure of drugs was also among our remarkable operations in this field in our country. Three of our large-scale drug seizures in 2021 took place at the Gürbulak Customs Gate. During the operations carried out at this site on different dates, 3 kilograms of heroin, 808 kilograms of liquid heroin and 462 kilograms of methamphetamine drugs were seized. used the phrases.
Stating that they have achieved significant success in this field by resolutely going over the commercial goods smuggling attempts with the works carried out throughout the year, Muş said that they seized 2021 million packs of cigarettes and 3,7 million macarons used in the production of illegal cigarettes in the operations in 26,1. Noting that they seized a total of 52,7 thousand liters of alcoholic beverages and 1778 tons of fuel oil, Muş stated that 5 thousand 895 kilograms of honey, 1 million 684 thousand auto spare parts and 265 tons of tea are some of the commercial products seized in 2021.
“Our effective fight against fuel smuggling will continue with determination”
Pointing out that the fight against fuel smuggling continues with the effective contribution of all relevant institutions, Muş continued as follows:
“In 2021, as a result of the investigations carried out by the Fuel Special Team throughout the country and the studies carried out on 930 companies that were considered to be risky, it was determined that 14 billion liras worth of fake invoices were issued and approximately 5,5 billion liras of public loss was caused. Our effective fight against fuel smuggling will continue with determination. Those who engage in such illegal activities will be detected by our customs enforcement teams, no matter what methods they use. Our Ministry strictly continues its efforts to combat smuggling at our customs and border gates.”
“We will produce with domestic and national resources”
Emphasizing that they will implement the vehicle and container scanning systems that can be produced by a limited number of countries in the world with the MIL-TAR project, which is carried out together with the Presidency of Defense Industry Presidency and will be completed in the first half of this year, with domestic and national means, Muş said that with the Scanning Network Project carried out with TÜBİTAK, x-ray vehicle and container scanning systems will be implemented. He said that they will check the images obtained from the scanning systems at different customs administrations and the Command and Control Center and detect the changes with artificial intelligence.
Muş explained that with the Guard Project, which has reached its final stage in its work, they will analyze the data in the databases of the Ministry with artificial intelligence and use it effectively in our anti-smuggling activities.
Sharing the information that they will increase the number of x-ray vehicle and container scanning systems, which reached 74 last year, with new purchases and installations, Muş said, “We also use our passenger imaging systems, which are produced entirely with domestic facilities, in customs areas, which remotely detect the illegal substances hidden in the clothes of the passengers." said.
Dogs will also be used for live search
Stating that they attach great importance to the facilities of international standards used in the fight against smuggling, Muş drew attention to the fact that the Command and Control Center is at the center of the fight against smuggling. Stating that they monitor land, sea and air traffic in this center 7/24, Muş noted that they take operational decisions as a result of the analyzes and coordinate the operations of the provincial administrations.
Pointing to the importance of the Dog Training Center, Muş stated that this year they added local breeds to the detector dogs trained in different branches in this center. Stating that the local breed dogs, which they started to train carefully when they were still puppies, started to serve within the organization for the first time this year, Muş said, "We will soon make use of the dogs bred to fight immigrant smuggling as live search dogs." he said.
“We have signed 11 international operations”
Underlining that they attach great importance to national and international cooperation in anti-smuggling activities carried out uninterruptedly with all technical devices and facilities used by expert personnel, Muş stated that they work in harmony with all stakeholders in this field and that they carry out joint operations by collaborating at the highest level.
In this context, Muş emphasized that they quickly evaluated around 136 notices and calls sent to them through various channels, especially the "Hello 9" whistleblower line, and said, "We carried out 11 international operations within the scope of instant intelligence information exchanges." said.
Noting that the "Ship Search", "Marine Patrol" and "Container Control" teams working in the Seas and Ports have successfully performed their anti-smuggling duties, Muş said that Narko-Kims, X-ray Operators and Detector Dog Managers will close 2021 with important records in drug seizures. He said he made a great contribution.
“We will not let those who try to trade illegally”
Muş said, “Last year, 6 million passengers, 74,5 million containers, 7,7 thousand planes, 474 thousand ships, 85 million trucks and 4,4 million passenger vehicles, with approximately 2,6 thousand customs enforcement personnel, including expert teams, customs control. We have completed the process.” shared his knowledge.
Emphasizing that while facilitating legal trade in 2022, they will not allow illegal trade, Muş said, “We will continue our struggle in this area with determination. As part of the fight against smuggling, we will never allow those who try to engage in illegal trade by making maximum use of all the possibilities of technology.” said.