Turkey has detained 26 active-duty military officers in police raids across 15 provinces as part of a widening probe against a military espionage gang.
They were picked up after an Izmir court issued capture warrants for 30 people as part of an operation conducted by the Izmir police against the military espionage gang, Turkish media reported on Sunday.
Simultaneous operations were launched in 15 provinces, with police officers detaining them following searches of military facilities and the suspects' homes. The 26 suspects were taken to Izmir Central Command, from where they were to be referred to court. Police are still on the look out of another four suspects.
The first wave of arrests of members of the gang began in May, when 20 people were arrested. Those arrested stand accused of prostitution, human trafficking, blackmail, illegally obtaining military information, and establishing and running a criminal organization. According to earlier news reports, the gang is headed by a 25-year-old woman who is studying at the Pamukkale University in Denizli.
The gang is accused of hiring foreign women as prostitutes for military officers from whom they obtain military information and then sell that information to third parties. The gang, based in Izmir, is reportedly having branches in a number of provinces, including capital Ankara, Istanbul, Bursa, Antalya, Mugla, Manisa, Zonguldak and Ordu, the report said.
by RTT Staff Writer
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