The Istanbul Police Directorate dismantled an international human-trafficking ring in a joint operation with six EU countries early today. In simultaneous early morning raids organized Jan. 29 in Istanbul, Antalya and Balıkesir 35 suspects were taken into custody while 20 people being held hostage by the organization were rescued.
The alleged leader, a Palestinian with the initials N. K., is said to be among the arrested suspects. All 20 hostages were moved to the Foreign Office Directorate.
Similar raids targeting the same ring were conducted simultaneously in Germany, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Italy and Spain. According to reports, the police corps had been preparing the operation for seven months.