Court releases 27 active duty officers in espionage probe

An İzmir court ruled to release 27 suspects, all active duty members of the Turkish »»

An İzmir court ruled to release 27 suspects, all active duty members of the Turkish military, on Thursday who were previously taken into custody as part of a deepening investigation into a military espionage gang.

There are 78 suspects currently under arrest on accusations of membership in the gang. Among the arrestees are active duty and retired officers. The 27 suspects were detained on Tuesday in simultaneous operations against the gang in a number of Turkish provinces.

The 78 suspects under arrest are accused of profiting from prostitution, human smuggling, blackmail, illegally obtaining military information and establishing and running a criminal organization. The gang reportedly hired foreign prostitutes for military officers and secretly recorded intimate relations between the officers and the women. The gang later blackmailed these officers to obtain military information from them and sold that information to third parties.

The espionage gang was reportedly headed by a 25-year-old woman. The gang is based in İzmir and reportedly has branches in a number of provinces, including İstanbul, Ankara, Bursa, Antalya, Muğla, Manisa, Zonguldak and Ordu. The investigation against the espionage gang started close to a year and a half ago.

2012-07-05

National