NEWS CENTER-Department of Combating Narcotic Crimes made a statement regarding the seizure of cocaine originating from Colombia. In the statement made on the social media account of the Department of Combating Narcotic Crimes, it was said: "Despite the statements made on our pages many times before, due to the recent discussions, there is a need to inform about the studies carried out in our country regarding the 4.9 tons of cocaine that was allegedly seized in Colombia in 2020. has been heard.
On 09 June 2020, it was announced on the Twitter account of the Colombian Ministry of Defense that 4.9 tons of cocaine was seized in two containers bound for Turkey at the Colombian port of Buenaventura.
Prior to the announcement, no information was shared to our country by the Colombian authorities, and no controlled delivery request was made.
Following the Twitter statement, studies to collect information and documents on the subject started. Efforts were made to detail the operation through the relevant units of our Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Interpol and Foreign Relations Departments of the General Directorate of Security, and many countries with which we maintain police cooperation. On 18 June 2020, EGM Interpol Europol Department requested information about the incident from Colombian Interpol.
With the initiatives made, it was decided to hold a video conference with Colombian authorities. On June 25, 2020, a video conference meeting was held with Colonel Fabio Ojeda from the Colombian Narcotics Unit. At this meeting, Colonel Ojeda stated that the seizure actually took place on April 03, 2020, the seized cocaine was seen as impregnated with rubber granules, the criminal investigation took a long time, the operation was announced when cocaine substance impregnated with granules was detected, there was no Turkish citizen detection, a shipment of Balkan drug cartels was sent. stated that they thought it might be.
Efforts have been increased in order to reach the documents regarding the alleged arrest in Colombia, as our legal system in the criminal law is based on official and written documents rather than Twitter messages, rumors, gossip or verbal conversations.
In line with the documents obtained, on August 24, 2020, a judicial investigation was opened by the Istanbul Büyükçekmece Chief Public Prosecutor's Office against the officials of the Istanbul-based company, Murat K. Numerous correspondences and meetings were held through national/international units, primarily EGM Interpol Europol Department and Foreign Relations Department. A letter of rogatory request was made to Colombia by the Istanbul Büyükçekmece Chief Public Prosecutor's Office.
Following the Twitter statement, studies were started to appoint a liaison officer from our Presidency to Colombia, and due to the prolongation of the accreditation procedures made by the Colombian country due to the measures and restrictions taken within the scope of the Covid19 pandemic all over the world, our personnel were able to start their duties in Colombia on June 15, 2021. Our liaison officer received a Colombian criminal expertise report on the incident from the Colombian authorities on 29 July 2021 within the scope of police cooperation. On September 29, 2021, Major General Herman Alejandro Bustamente Jimenez, the narcotics unit commander of the Colombian National Police Service, visited our Presidency and was asked for details regarding the investigation they were conducting. General Jimenez also stated that they did not take any action against any suspects related to the arrest.
From time to time, informative messages were shared with the public on the social media accounts of our Presidency. In these posts, it was stated that Colombia did not respond to our request for legal assistance. There was a report by an internet journalism broadcaster that the information we conveyed on 17 November 2021 was incorrect and that the Colombian judicial authorities actually sent the answer. With the documents obtained from our Colombian Embassy, it was revealed on 17 November 2021 that the news was not true and Colombia did not give any answer. The relevant media outlet apologized and canceled the news.
On January 11, 2022, the investigation carried out under the coordination of the Istanbul Büyükçekmece Chief Public Prosecutor's Office turned into an operation, and 16 suspects, including MuratK., were caught and detained. All of the suspects were arrested by the judicial authorities to which they were referred. On 23 June 2022, the Colombian judicial authorities responded to the Istanbul Büyükçekmece Chief Public Prosecutor's request for a rogatory letter. There is also a Colombian criminal expertise report in the rogatory document. It was determined that the seized cocaine was not in packets, but was impregnated in the rubber granule load. This