Over 219kg of heroin seized | Daily News

Over 219kg of heroin seized

Over 219kg of heroin attempted to be smuggled into the island by sea were seized by the Sri Lanka Navy with nine suspects.

They arrested during a search operation conducted in the coastal area of Polwathumodara, Weligama yesterday.

This special anti-drug operation conducted by the Navy made way to the seizure of this stock of about 219.8kg of heroin which was attempted to be smuggled in by a dinghy through Polwathumodara area in Weligama and hide away, after having brought to seas off Weligama by a multi-day fishing trawler.

The consignment had been concealed in sacks and gas cylinders when the apprehension was made. The Navy also held the multi-day fishing trawler, a dinghy and 09 suspects aboard, in collection to this racket.

The multi-day fishing trawler seized by the Navy on suspicion of smuggling heroin had left the Kottegoda fisheries harbour, Matara on 11th May 2021 and it is suspected that the consignment of narcotics was taken to the trawler from foreign smugglers in international waters. Meanwhile, the street value of the seized consignment of heroin is believed to be over Rs. 1758 million.

The operation was conducted adhering to COVID-19 protocols in force to prevent the spread of the pandemic. The suspects held during this operation were residents of Weligama, Ahangama, Dikwella, Kottegoda, Ihalawatta, Mirissa, Polwathumodara and Piliyandala, from 26 to 43 years of age. Meanwhile, the Navy and Police Narcotic Bureau are conducting further investigation into the incident as of now.


Over 200 kg of heroin detected in Mirissa

* Contraband worth over Rs 1.97 bn

* Arranged by UAE based SL smuggler

* Loaded near Iran, Pakistan sea

Camelia Nathaniel

Sri Lanka Navy had seized over 200 kilograms of heroin smuggled into the country via sea route on board a multi-day fishing trawler.

The arrest has been made in the southern seas near Polathumodara in Mirissa, according to the Navy Media Spokesperson Captain Indika de Silva.

The stock of drugs weighing 219 kg and 800g is estimated by the PNB at a value of around Rs. 1.97 billion. He told the Daily News that while the Navy had been tracking the operations of these smugglers, bad weather had prevented them from intercepting this fishing vessel at sea and due to suspicion that the smugglers might dump the contraband into the sea, the operation was launched to round-up and apprehend the suspects when they had brought the drugs ashore in two small boats. The operation was conducted with the assistance of the Police Narcotics Bureau and the Coast Guards. Nine persons were arrested in connection with the incident. The smuggled drugs had been parcelled in gunny bags and concealed inside hollowed gas cylinders.

The raid had been carried out based on a tip-off received by the State Intelligence Service (SIS).

Police Spokesman DIG Ajith Rohana said that the Navy had conducted a special operation last morning along with the coast guards and officers of the Police Narcotics Bureau. During this operation, 11 suspects had been arrested and six persons are those on-board the fishing vessel. The fishing vessel had ventured out to sea on May 11.

In addition another three persons were also arrested with regard to the haul of drugs. They were the fishermen of the small fishing boat. Another two persons had also been arrested by the PNB.

The suspects are being brought to Colombo to be produced before the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court and the PNB will obtain Detention Orders under the provisions of the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance to detain the 11 suspects for seven days.

It has also been revealed that narcotic substances had been loaded from Iran and Pakistan. The Police Spokesman said that the main mastermind behind this drug smuggling operation has been identified as a Sri Lankan residing in the UAE.

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