Istanbul airport witnesses first drug bust, Iranian suspects held

Some 350 heroin capsules found stashed in the bodies of eight Iranian suspects, who had flown from Hakkari to Istanbul.

    People pass through security control at Istanbul Airport, which opened last year [File: Umit Bektas/Reuters]
    People pass through security control at Istanbul Airport, which opened last year [File: Umit Bektas/Reuters]

    At least five kilograms of heroin capsules have been seized in the first drug bust at the newly-opened Istanbul Airport, Turkish media reported.

    According to the state-run Anadolu Agency, nine Iranian suspects, who flew to Istanbul from Turkey's southeastern province of Hakkari, were arrested by police on Friday.

    After an initial body search yielded nothing, the suspects were sent to a hospital for MR scan, where 350 capsules were detected in the bodies of eight of the suspects. According to the medical report, they were retrieved through defecation.

    Following the closure of the Istanbul Ataturk Airport on April 6, Istanbul Airport replaced it as the main airport of the metropolis. It was inaugurated by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on October 31 last year.

    The airport is on course to become one of the biggest in the world and is estimated to host 200 million passengers by the time all phases of the airport will be completed by the end of 2028.

    In a separate operation in the northwestern province of Kocaeli, police impounded 180 kilograms of heroin as they detained five people, including two Iranian nationals.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies