Avcı’s right-hand man detained in smuggling probe

Avcı’s right-hand man detained in smuggling probe

Hanefi Avcı (L)

December 22, 2011, Thursday/ 14:53:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN

M.A., the right-hand man to jailed former police chief Hanefi Avcı, was detained along with 11 other individuals on Wednesday as part of an investigation into a smuggling gang.

Avcı used to assign M.A. as the department chief in all the places where he served as police chief. M.A. was serving with the Eskişehir Police Department before his detention on Wednesday.

Avcı, a former police chief in Eskişehir province, was arrested in 2010 on charges of aiding and abetting a terrorist organization known as the Revolutionary Headquarters and violating the secrecy of a separate investigation. Revolutionary Headquarters is a leftist-terrorist organization that was behind a deadly attack that took place in İstanbul in 2009.

The police raids were orchestrated by İzmir police following a one-year-long investigation.

During the police operations, which took place in the provinces of İzmir, İstanbul, Antalya, Samsun, Eskişehir and Balıkesir, 57,641 smuggled cell phones, 108,499 covert listening devices, as well as secret cameras and tablet computers were seized.

Security sources said the number of smuggled cell phones seized in Wednesday's operations was more than the number of cell phones that were seized in Turkey in police operations in 2009 and 2010 combined.

The leader of the gang was reported to be H.M., a police officer who was expelled from the customs bureau due to his involvement in bribery.

M.A.'s brother S.A., who was also detained on Wednesday, is accused of distributing and selling smuggled goods throughout Turkey.

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