Four Turks among five arrested in cocaine bust off Canary Islands

Four Turkish nationals were arrested in a cocaine bust off the Canary Islands, Reuters reported on Sunday.

 The Spanish police seized 2.9 tonnes of cocaine, estimated to have a street value of 72 million euros ($77.80 million), hidden in a fuel tank of a fishing boat, the AKT 1, the agency said.

Turkey has long been a key drug trafficking route between Afghanistan and western European countries, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

However, seizures over the past year indicate that Turkish traffickers are acquiring a greater share of the European cocaine market, “with Turkey mostly used as a transit country for cocaine,” Antoine Vella, a researcher with UNODC, told Deutsche Welle.

"Large quantities have been seized in individual cases, both in Turkey and in Latin American countries en route to Turkey in 2020 and 2021," according to Vella.

Five detainees, including four Turkish nationals and a Georgian citizen were remanded in custody in Las Palmas, Reuters said.

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