Turkey has made its highest drug seizure in recent history after its security forces seized more than a ton of heroin hidden in a Democratic Republic of Congo-flagged cargo ship after a raid in international waters.
Turkish police said the raid was launched following a tip-off received by the narcotics squad that the ship, Commander Tide, was heading towards the country with a major drug consignment.
The Coastguard, the Turkish Naval Forces and special forces from the Mersin Province participated in the raid, seizing 40 sacks containing 1,071 kg (2,361 lb) of substances believed to be heroin hidden in secret compartments on the ship.
The Turkish security operatives also arrested and detained the nine crew members in the night operation before transporting the ship to a naval base at Marmaris, in southwest Turkey.
Turkish authorities also revealed that the drug haul had an estimated market value of around 200 million lira ($57 million) in Turkey, a country that is believed to be a major smuggling route for heroin from Afghanistan to Europe.