Turkiye: Police arrest 18 int’l crime ring members


Turkish police have dismantled the notorious international criminal organization Comanchero, arresting 18 of its alleged members.

The arrests come after a joint effort by Turkish law enforcement agencies to apprehend individuals involved in a wide range of criminal activities, including drug trafficking, murder, armed robbery, arson, kidnapping and global money laundering.

The operation, conducted under the coordination of the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office, led to the detention of 40 people on charges of establishing an organization to commit crimes, being a member of an established organization, international drug trafficking, and laundering assets obtained from crime.

Among those arrested were key members of the Comanchero gang, which had been on the radar of authorities in Australia, the United States and New Zealand.

Last week, Turkish authorities captured Hakan Ayık, a notorious criminal on the most wanted list in Australia, and individuals affiliated with his criminal organization, Comanchero.

Ayık, widely known as the “Facebook Gangster” in Australia, had been a fugitive for over a decade in the state of New South Wales. His criminal empire was involved in a sophisticated drug trafficking network, attempting to transport narcotics from South America to Australia, the Netherlands and Hong Kong via South Korea and South Africa.

Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya revealed in a statement that the Comanchero gang’s criminal activities extended beyond drug trafficking, encompassing murder, armed robbery, arson, kidnapping, and global money laundering.

Turkish authorities, in collaboration with international agencies, seized assets worth approximately 4.5 billion Turkish Liras ($158.4 million) belonging to gang members.

Additionally, 22 individuals detained during the operation were released on condition of judicial control.__Daily Hurriyet