Turkish customs officials confess taking bribes at Greece-Turkey border

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An indictment has been launched at 18 customs officials, including the general manager of the İpsala Customs Station, who recently confessed to bribery on the Greece-Turkey border.

According to Hurriyet Daily News, officials reaped money from lorry drivers passing to and from Greece at the Erdine border, with excuses like they were missing papers.

Officials were asked by Turkish police why they accepted the bribes, with the officials saying they “had instalments to pay,” police sources claim.

Turkey-Greece border crossing a Erdine. Photo: Julian Nyca

Border officials reportedly collected bribes from lorry drivers, then passed on the funds to a senior Turkish official. The total amount was then shared once a fortnight.

Some 500 to 600 euros would go to the General Manager Mustafa Kemal Mısırlıoğlu, and the rest of the amount was split between others involved.

In the investigation, police found around 7,900 euros in an official’s house and 8,500 euros in another’s.

A report by two centre-left (S&D group) lawmakers also alleges that officials continue to accept bribes at the Bulgarian-Turkish border, refusing the entry of citizens without at least a 5 EUR bribe.

“I crossed the border in Bulgaria. We waited for a long ten hours. The border control police asked me for money. I had to put 10 EUR in the passport. If not, they’ll ask for it. If you refuse, you can wait for hours,” a source said in the report.

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