Turkish police raid workshop producing defective life-jackets

Turkish police raid workshop producing defective life-jackets
1 min read
07 January, 2016
More than 1,200 defective life-jackets, due to go on sale to desperate refugees, have been seized by authorities in the Aegean coastal city of Izmir.
Life-jackets save lives, as the name suggests, but not when deliberately counterfeited by criminals [AFP]

Turkish authorities have raided a workshop in the Aegean coastal city of Izmir and seized more than 1,200 defective life-jackets that would have been sold to refugees, it emerged on Wednesday.

The raid came as the bodies of dozens of people who drowned in two separate boat accidents washed up on Turkey's Aegean coast on Tuesday.

The life-jackets were reportedly made of material that doesn't float - and instead becomes heavy when soaked, and causes the wearer to sink.

The life-jackets included counterfeits of well-known brands, padded instead with insulating materials, suitcase fabric and low-quality sponges used to make the life jackets look thick and safe, reported Today's Zaman.

Turkish media has previously reported the sale of cheap counterfeit life jackets by street vendors in Izmir and Istanbul who target Syrians fleeing their war-torn country and attempting to cross into Europe.

Read more: Bodies wash up on Turkey's coast

At least two of the employees at the raided workshop were Syrian girls. Syrian child labour in Turkey has increased in recent years with the influx of more than two million Syrian refugees.

The International Organization for Migration says 3,771 people drowned trying to reach Europe last year.