On Friday, 11th May, the Turkish Coast Guard boarded a yacht in the open sea off Ölüdeniz, and seized 512,500 packets of smuggled cigarettes.

The Chief of Police in Fethiye called a press conference and this is what he had to say:

“For some time now we’ve been involved in a joint operation with the Police in Adana and the Coast Guards both here and there.

We followed a boat called ‘Jaguar’ when she left Fethiye and she was seen to pull alongside a ship some 200 miles out at sea – this is where the cigarettes were loaded on board the boat.

Jaguar then set off on a return journey to Fethiye, but she was intercepted and seized off Ölüdeniz.

In total 15 people have been arrested in connection with this matter, 4 of them by our colleagues in Adana, the other 11 here in Fethiye.”

The Chief went on to thank everyone involved for all their hard work, and assured press this seizure and the arrests would close down a very active smuggling ring.

The 11 arrested in Fethiye were taken to Police HQ to give statements.

Pictures from Stuart Aikman taken in Fethiye 11 May 2012