Istanbul police forces cracked down a Japanese organized crime syndicate, or yakuza, operating in Istanbul, local daily Today's Zaman reported in Istanbul today.
The report said that the police launched five operations last month against criminal organizations attempting to establish drug trade among Iran, Turkey and Japan. Eight Iranian and four Japanese drug smugglers were arrested, according to the report.
Anti-smuggling and Organized Crime Bureau officials got information that the Japanese gangs were trying to smuggle methamphetamine they had bought from Iran to Japan. The police were able to trace the route of the drug smugglers.
The Iranian and Japanese drug smugglers were closely monitored, and the police launched their operation when the drugs were brought to Istanbul from Iran.
In the first three operations, several Japanese and Iranian drug smugglers were caught with a total of 350,000 methamphetamine tablets.
The biggest methamphetamine haul was seized during the fourth operation, in which three Iranians were captured with 21 kilograms, or more than 500,000 tablets of the drug. In the final operation, five kilograms of methamphetamine were found on two Iranians.
Police noted that methamphetamine is widely used in the United States and Japan. The street value of the drug confiscated during the operations was estimated to be millions of U.S. dollars in Japan.