A Turkish court has ruled to arrest 18 people who were detained last week with alleged links to the “Comanchero Motorcycle Club,” an outlaw motorcycle gang based in Australia and Southeast Asia, including its alleged leader Hakan Ayık, the T24 news website reported.
Twenty-two of the suspects who were detained as part of the same operation last week have been released under judicial supervision.
The 18 suspects who were arrested by an İstanbul court on Sunday face charges of “forming an organization for criminal activities, becoming a member of such an organization, international drug trafficking and criminal asset laundering.”
The 44-year-old Ayık is listed on the New South Wales Police website as among its “most wanted persons” for supplying large commercial quantities of drugs, according to a statement from Turkish Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya last week.
The detentions included some individuals sought by authorities in the United States and New Zealand.
According to a report by the Guardian last Thursday, a spokesperson for the Australian Federal Police (AFP) said it was “aware” of the reporting from Turkey and continued to work with international partners to combat transnational serious organized crime.
They said the AFP had supported the Turkish national police through Operation Gain and the AFP’s post in Ankara.