Turkey arrests British crime boss in Istanbul

Turkey arrests British crime boss in Istanbul

Turkish narcotics police arrest alleged UK crime boss Shaun Monaghan on Wednesday. (Capture from Turkish police video of his arrest)
Turkish narcotics police arrest alleged UK crime boss Shaun Monaghan on Wednesday. (Capture from Turkish police video of his arrest)

ISTANBUL - Turkey said on Wednesday it had captured the leader of a British gang involved in drug smuggling, the illegal gun trade and robbery in an operation in Istanbul.

The operation is the latest in a series of busts and arrests in Turkey over recent weeks targeting international organised crime rings.

Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya said Shaun Monaghan was leader of a gang operating in northeast England and the subject of an Interpol red notice. He was wanted in Britain on charges of  "Drug trafficking, armed assault, and illegal possession of firearms/ammunition".

Monaghan arrived in Turkey in October and the Interpol notice was published on Tuesday, Yerlikaya said. Turkish police had found Monaghan to be living in Istanbul's Fatih district and captured him on Wednesday,

Video published by the interior ministry showed narcotics police arresting a man in a hotel room.

Monaghan's gang was involved in cocaine and heroin distribution as well as armed robbery, Yerlikaya said on social messaging platform X. 

Last month, Yerlikaya said, Turkey captured Hakan Ayik, a top fugitive wanted in Australia for drug smuggling, and 36 others involved in an international organised crime ring that has also been pursued by U.S. and New Zealand authorities.

Yerlikaya also said at the weekend that police had captured Shamil Amirov, a senior figure in an organised crime group called "Thieves in Law", which operates in Russia. 

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