Turkish Crewmembers Found Guilty of Smuggling Cocaine

The Turkish captain and first officer of an ocean going tug boat have been found guilty of drug trafficking following a seizure of GBP 512 million (USD 671.8 million) worth of cocaine which was found on board the Tanzanian flagged tug MV Hamal in April 2015.

The UK Navy personnel stopped the vessel some 100 miles off the coast of Aberdeenshire and the tug was boarded and subsequently escorted into the Port of Aberdeen.

After it arrived in port, relevant authorities conducted a search and found over 3.2 tonnes of cocaine hidden inside one of the vessel’s ballast tanks.

Nine Turkish crew members were detained and they were formally questioned in Aberdeen.

Following an 12 week trial at the High Court in Glasgow, ship captain Mumin Sahin and first mate Emin Ozmen were found guilty of two counts of drug trafficking.

The charges against four crew members were found not proven. Three others had been acquitted earlier in the proceedings.

They will be sentenced on 12 August.

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