Istanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya on Friday disclosed several crime statistics for 2021 in Turkey’s most crowded metropolis. Figures show a drop in most types of crimes, except fraud. “The average daily number of thefts from residences dropped to 28 from 35 in 2020. Thefts from workplaces and car thefts decreased from an average 19 to 15 and seven to five (respectively) but unfortunately, the number of fraud cases rose to 10,357 throughout the year, from 8,490,” the governor told reporters at a press conference. “One out of every two cases of fraud is through the internet and phone. I ask residents of Istanbul to use caution against those types of fraud,” he said.
Phone scams are quite common in Turkey, especially those targeting gullible senior citizens who are robbed of their earnings by scammers posing as police officers, telling their victims to hand over their money under the pretense that their bank accounts were implicated in counterterrorism investigations and it would be “examined as evidence.” Online fraud is also more prevalent nowadays with a boom in e-commerce and internet use.
Yerlikaya said a total of 2,769 counterterrorism operations were conducted last year in the city and 5,563 suspects were captured, while 1,754 others were apprehended in operations against organized crime. On counter-narcotics efforts, the governor said the number of drug-related deaths dropped to 60 from 131 in 2020, more than 66,000 suspects were detained in operations against drug dealers and tons of drugs of different types were seized in operations. Also in 2021, security forces in Istanbul launched 111 operations against producers of bootleg liquor, a serious issue for Turkey where dozens recently died from bootleg alcohol poisoning.
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