Home » Navy apprehends seizes over 850kg of smuggled Kendu leaves: Suspects arrested

Navy apprehends seizes over 850kg of smuggled Kendu leaves: Suspects arrested

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Colombo (LNW): The Sri Lanka Navy apprehended 04 suspects with a stock of smuggled Kendu leaves weighing about 551kg (wet weight) during a search operation conducted off the Mattathivu island in Kalpitiya lagoon on August 11. The operation also led to the seizure of 02 dinghies used to smuggle the contraband items. As an extension of these efforts, the search operation was conducted by SLNS Vijaya in the Northwestern Naval Command off the Mattathivu island on August 11, and in this operation, naval personnel searched 02 dinghies on suspicion and recovered the contraband items from them. The dinghies had been loaded with 21 sacks, stuffed with approx. 551kg (wet weight) of Kendu leaves. Accordingly, the contraband items, 02 dinghies and 04 suspects aboard were taken into the naval custody. The suspects held in this search operation were identified as residents of Kalpitiya, from 17 to 27 years of age. The 04 suspects together with the stock of Kendu leaves and 02 dinghies were handed over to the Customs Preventive Office in Katunayake for onward legal proceedings. Meanwhile, the Navy took hold of about 318kg (wet weight) of Kendu leaves washed ashore at Serakkuliya, during a foot patrol and a search operation conducted at Serakkuliya beach the following day (12). As an extension of these efforts, SLNS Vijaya, SLNS Thambapanni and Rapid Action Boat Squadron in the Northwestern Naval Command carried out a foot patrol and a search operation in the beach area of Serakkuliya on 12th August. During this operation, naval personnel recovered 09 suspicious packages of washed ashore and they have been stuffed with Kendu leaves weighing about 318kg (wet weight). It is suspected that racketeers have smuggled this consignment of Kendu leaves and abandoned at the beach due to Navy’s presence in the area. The Navy conducts regular search operations and patrols in coastal and sea areas of the island to prevent nefarious activities being carried out via sea routes.
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