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Coup plan "praises customs suspect" in Turkish bribery probe

12 January 2011 [14:40] - TODAY.AZ
Istanbul's top customs officer and three other officials were jailed pending trial on charges of bribery in a major corruption investigation, Anatolian news agency said on Wednesday.

Another 41 people who had been questioned by police as part of the probe into graft at the customs authority also face prosecution but have been freed while awaiting trial, the state-run news agency said.

Istanbul customs department head Lutfi Ekinci, the head of customs at Istanbul's main Ataturk Airport and two other officials were taken to a prison in the city.

They are charged with giving and receiving bribes and breaking a law on smuggling, Anatolian said.

"Suspect in coup plan"

Meanwhile, the name of Ekinci emerged among the staff that should be promoted in Sledgehammer coup plan, media said.

Alleged lists that was drawn in the framework of the Sledgehammer Operational Plan, 150 bureaucrats working in the Prime Ministery, Finance, Audit and Customs Undersecretariat were considered among the names to be taken into custody in case coup was staged.

The same list also points out the "names to be trusted and promoted public officials." One of those credible names turned out to be suspect Ekinci.

Media reports said police had been monitoring customs for six months and suspect that officials received kickback payments from companies to help them avoid tax.

/World Bulletin/

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