Turkey

Turkey: Police recover $10M worth of smuggled fossils

879 fossils that date back 150-200 millions years allegedly found in crime syndicate house of imprisoned televangelist

Muhammed Nuri Erdogan and Cankut Tasdan   | 21.10.2020
Turkey: Police recover $10M worth of smuggled fossils

ANKARA

Turkish anti-smuggling teams on Wednesday uncovered 879 animal and plant fossils worth $10 million and dating back 150-200 million years.

In two operations in the capital Ankara, the teams found the fossils in a house allegedly being used by a criminal organization founded and run by imprisoned televangelist Adnan Oktar.

The fossils were to be sold for the group's financial survival, said a suspect who illegally brought the artifacts into Turkey.

In the first operation, security forces found 802 fossils, uncovering and 77 more in a second.

Legal procedures are underway for the suspects and owner of the house.

Officials said the fossils would be delivered to a museum in Ankara.

Adnan Oktar was remanded by a court in 2018, along with 168 others, for allegedly committing numerous crimes, including establishing a criminal organization, child sexual abuse, kidnapping, tax fraud and terrorism.

* Writing by Dilan Pamuk in Ankara

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