Turkish police arrest 90 for ‘robbing quake victims’ as death toll hits 28,000
At least 98 people have been arrested by Turkish security forces for reportedly looting damaged buildings and defrauding earthquake victims.
Last week Monday, devastating earthquakes tore through Turkey and Syria, killing and displacing thousands.
So far, the death toll from the disaster has reached 28,192.
Turkey’s death toll has climbed to 24,617 while the total number of confirmed deaths in Syria stands at 3,575.
Amidst the chaos, Anadolu, a Turkish news agency, reports that at least 98 people were arrested on Saturday for looting damaged buildings and defrauding victims.
Police were said to have seized $11,000, 20 cellphones, eight laptops, five appliances, six guns, and three rifles as well as jewellery and bank cards belonging to different people from 40 suspects.
Two suspects, posing as aid workers, were arrested after reportedly trying to loot six truckloads of food for quake victims in the Hatay province.
Security teams were also said to have arrested six suspects for defrauding an earthquake victim via telephone.
Meanwhile, humanitarian agencies have expressed concern over the situation in Turkey and Syria.
Martin Griffiths, United Nations (UN) emergency relief coordinator, said the death toll is likely to “more than double”, adding that he expects tens of thousands more deaths.
Jamie LeSueur, head of emergency operations at the International Federation of Red Cross, told CNN that the recovery process would last for months.
“We’ve now entered into the humanitarian phase. That is going to last for a couple of months, where we’ll still try to meet people’s basic needs,” CNN quoted LeSueur as saying.
“We want to get them out of the humanitarian phase as quickly as possible, into something sustainable and transitional that’s going to keep them safe for a long time.”
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