HomeTurkeyTürkiye smashes int’l crime ring Comanchero, nab 37 suspects

Türkiye smashes int’l crime ring Comanchero, nab 37 suspects


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Türkiye’s inside minister revealed on Thursday that the nation had efficiently disrupted the worldwide prison group Comanchero, apprehending Hakan Ayık, a outstanding fugitive needed in Australia for drug smuggling, together with 36 different suspects in Istanbul.

The apprehensions particularly focused the armed motorbike gang, which was allegedly engaged in drug trafficking, manslaughter, world looting and cash laundering, Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya stated on the social media platform X, previously referred to as Twitter.

U.S. and New Zealand authorities have additionally pursued the group.

Dubbed the “Facebook gangster” in Australia, Ayık has been on essentially the most needed listing in New South Wales state for greater than a decade for the “supply of large commercial quantities of drugs.”

The FBI has stated he unwittingly helped authorities monitor and arrest tons of of suspected criminals in recent times utilizing an FBI-run telephone app.

Yerlikaya stated Türkiye “will not pardon organized crime gangs, drug dealers,” including, “Regardless of their scale, we will dismantle organized crime groups and bring them to justice.”

The captured gang chief Ayık, who’s also referred to as “Reis,” and Duax Hohepa Ngakuru have led the crime ring since no less than final yr, Yerlikaya stated.

Like Ayık, Ngakuru has been needed in New Zealand.

Hakan Ayık is detained by Turkish police in Istanbul, Türkiye, Nov. 1, 2023. (Reuters Photo)

Istanbul’s chief public prosecutor filed a lawsuit in opposition to Comanchero, alleging it laundered its property in Türkiye. The drug commerce spanned South America, Australia, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, South Korea and South Africa, Yerlikaya stated.

Reuters was not instantly capable of contact a spokesperson for Ayık at an Istanbul resort the place, in 2021, employees had confirmed he was the proprietor.

The Turkish authorities revealed a video of the arrests exhibiting armed particular brokers and narcotics officers banging on doorways of flats and homes, arresting numerous males and seizing handguns and stacks of international financial institution notes.

The video contains a picture of a person it says is Ayık, who’s seen kneeling, handcuffed and shirtless, with a big tattoo on his shoulder that matches his earlier photographs on social media.

An app, a community

In 2010, Australian police arrested Ayık’s associates in relation to a drug cargo. When Ayık didn’t return from a visit to Hong Kong, Interpol issued a warrant for his arrest.

A U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation indictment unsealed in 2021 says that Ayık was one in all three directors and 4 influencers recognized in establishing and popularizing the An0m app amongst prison networks.

Users thought the app was encrypted, but it surely was really managed by the FBI, who might monitor their conversations.

The Australian Federal Police instructed Reuters it acknowledges Türkiye’s police for “undertaking one of the most significant operations targeting alleged transnational serious organized criminals, some of whom are accused of illicit drug trafficking to Australia and around the world.”

Born to Turkish migrants, Ayık was raised in Sydney, but it surely was not till about 2005 that he got here onto the radar of Australian police, native media have reported.

His wealth and flashy life-style have been flaunted on Facebook, bringing him to the eye of authorities and the general public and incomes him his nickname.

In 2021, two staffers on the Kings Cross Hotel in Istanbul’s upscale monetary district of Levent stated that Ayık was the proprietor and appeared there typically. The 13-room resort has a spa and Japanese restaurant and its business card included the slogan: “Sleep your way to the top.”

Providing additional particulars in regards to the group, Yerlikaya talked about that the so-called chief of the worldwide organized crime group, Mick Hawi, was killed in 2018.

Under the management of Mark Douglas Buddle, the prison group continued to have interaction in numerous prison actions globally, together with drug trafficking, homicide, armed theft, arson and kidnapping.

Buddle was apprehended within the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) in 2022 and extradited to Australia.

Ayık and Ngakuru took over the management and continued their prison actions.

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