HEROIN TRAFFICKING

TURKEY IS THE MAIN HEROIN TRAFFICKING ROUTE, ACCORDING TO US STATE DEPARTMENT REPORT

The Ankara english-speaking newspaper "Daily News" published facts included in the annual US State Department report on illegal drug trafficking and especially the chapter on Turkey, observing that in the report is underlined that Turkey is the main drug trafficking route especially for heroin which comes from countries in south-western Asia and is destined for the European markets and to a lesser degree for the United States' market.

In the report is underlined that the Susurluk scandal brought to light the corruption among the Turkish officials while it is pointed out that the corruption of the Turkish officials and the money laundering have become the main issues on the daily political agenda in Turkey.

It is also mentioned in the report, that up to 75% of the heroin seized in Europe has been processed in Turkey or has arrived through this country. According to the US Drug Enforcement Agency, it is estimated that 4-6 metric tons of heroin leave each month from Turkey having as destination Western Europe.

Also, is mentioned that money laundering is extensive in Turkey and it is done through casinos or construction companies, as huge sums of "dirty" money come from illegal drug trafficking and other related sources. The newspaper concludes by mentioning that Turkey is included in the list of "high priority" countries as far as money laundering is concerned

According to Turkish Daily News (12.4.97) a BBC news report has named Turkey and the "TRNC" as major countries where British drug dealers' money is laundered.

On its lunch time news program on Friday, the BBC 1 television channel said that 90 percent of heroin found in Britain came through Turkey. It said that the "TRNC" was the destination for many British drug dealers to launder their money. "The heroin manufactured either in or near the lawless fringe of eastern Turkey reaches Europe," the correspondent added.

"Northern Cyprus has more banks that its population needs. More than 60 banks for 80,000 people. Regulations are loose and supervision light for this green destination of shade money", a correspondent from the "TRNC" stated. "Add in to this more than 30 casinos where money changes ownership illegally and quickly and it is a perfect combination for money laundering, " he added.

"What we are seeing is couriers taking money out of this country in large quantities and taking it either to countries that are supplying heroin or to other countries such as Cyprus", Michael Newsom from Customs investigation told the reporter.

"The heroin coming through Turkey passes on into Europe and eventually to Britain. But when it comes to paying, Britain's drug dealers take their money to the more welcoming climate of Northern Cyprus where it can be bandied around until its ownership is confused and then it could be taken to Turkey", the correspondent pointed out.

"The Greek south has some of the problems but it is the North's closeness to Turkey that makes it a good place for Britain's drug dealers to do business", the BBC concluded its report.

Turkish gangs said to launder money through banks in the occupied area of Cyprus

According to MILLIYET (13.11.97), indicating that it is very clearly seen that one end of the (Susurluk) scandal extends to the occupied area of Cyprus, CHP (Republican People's Party) Icel Deputy Fikri Saglar, who recently visited the pseudostate to have contacts regarding the Susurluk case, said: "There are allegations that Ciller has transferred her money through some banks in north Cyprus. The allegations were made by politicians in Cyprus. We are investigating (the matter)."

Indicating that there is an effort to turn the occupied area of Cyprus into a steppingstone for the gangs who run the underground economy, Saglar said: "The fact is clearly seen through the Susurluk gangs' use of a bank for laundering money and their purchase of a casino and a hotel through Omer Lutfu Topal's mediation."


Some $120 million from Kiev laundered in the occupied area

According to a report in AVRUPA (19.2.98), some $120 million was reportedly laundered through a transaction in the occupied area last week. Information the paper received says the money originated from Kiev and that, in view of the amount of the money, the laundering was done with the approval of so- called government circles.

Money laundering has reportedly been the most profitable business in the "TRNC" in recent months, the report says. Knowing that the "TRNC" is a center for laundering money, numerous "entrepreneurs" are coming to the island as soon as they have money in their hands. Afterward they go to the banks and transfer their money there by paying a commission of 10 to 20 percent, depending on the amount of the money.

According to information received, the entrepreneurs later go to Switzerland to deposit the laundered money in the banks there, the report adds. Reportedly, no investigation has been carried out or questions asked about whether or not these amounts are obtained through selling heroin or weapons or through smuggling.

So, Westerners diplomats and investors continue to support the turkish leaders who have become rich by selling drugs to their children.

So, European tourists continue to visit Turkey whose economy is supported mainly by money earned from drugs selling to their children.