48 Arrested for Robbing, Defrauding Turkey Earthquake Survivors

Turkey vowed on Saturday to crack down on looters.


Turkish authorities have arrested 48 people on charges of looting or trying to defraud victims following a powerful earthquake in Turkey, state media reported on Saturday.

Suspects were being held in eight different provinces as part of an investigation into looting incidents after a 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit the region on Monday, Anadolu Agency reported.

It was later reported that 42 suspects were arrested for robbery in the southern province of Hatay, while six were arrested for defrauding a victim over the phone in Gaziantep.

The quake and its aftershocks killed nearly 26,000 people in Turkey and Syria.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared a three-month state of emergency in 10 southeastern provinces hit by the quake on Tuesday.

Prosecutors can now detain robbery offenders for three days, up from four days earlier, as part of expanded powers under the state of emergency, according to a decree published in the Official Gazette on Saturday.

Earlier on Saturday, Erdogan vowed that Turkey would crack down on looters.

“We have declared a state of emergency,” he said during a visit to quake-hit Diyarbakir province.

“This means that, from now on, those involved in robbery or kidnapping should know that the strong hand of the state is on their backs,” Erdogan said.

(Aside from the title, this story is unedited by NDTV staff and published via a syndicated feed.)

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