Navy seizes more than 65kg of heroin valued over Rs. 1626 million in southern seas
The Sri Lanka Navy today (20th January 2024) seized a local multi-day fishing trawler carrying over 65kg of heroin, and another multi-day fishing trawler suspected of assisting it, during a special operation carried out about 100 nautical miles (about 185km) off the Dondra Head, in southern waters. The operation also led to the apprehension of 11 suspects in connection to the smuggling racket.
To realize the national aspiration of eliminating the drug menace, the Navy is actively engaged in anti-drug operations across the country's maritime zones and is closely collaborating with law enforcement agencies to conduct regular operations in pursuit of this objective.
Accordingly, this special operation was mounted by the Sri Lanka Navy and Police Narcotics Bureau, together with intelligence services, about 100 nautical miles (about 185km) off the Dondra Head. During the operation the naval ship intercepted a suspicious local fishing trawler in southern waters on the morning of 19th January. Subsequent search of the trawler led to the recovery of 03 sacks stuffed with heroin weighing more than 65kg and 076g, intending to be smuggled into the country. Also, the Navy held 05 suspects onboard the drug-carrying trawler. Moreover, the Navy seized another multi-day fishing trawler and 06 suspects onboard, suspecting their connection to the illicit drug smuggling racket. Thus, the 02 multi-day fishing trawlers, 11 suspects and narcotics were brought to the Galle Harbour this morning (20th January) for onward legal action.
Meanwhile, the street value of the seized heroin is believed to be more than Rs. 1626 million.
The apprehended suspects, who are from 28 to 52 years of age, have been identified as residents of Matara, Gandara and Dondra areas. The 11 suspects, together with 65kg and 076g of heroin and 02 fishing trawlers held in this operation will be handed over to the Police Narcotic Bureau for onward legal action.
The Sri Lanka Navy plays a pivotal role under the able leadership of Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera who is also the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force to Combat the Use of Poisonous and Dangerous Drugs, continuing operations to apprehend drug smugglers. During naval operations conducted in the month of January alone, the Navy has been able to seize heroin and crystal methamphetamine valued at over Rs. 4800 million street value and has handed over those substances to authorities for legal proceedings.
It is in this backdrop, the Navy is urging the public to share information regarding individuals involved in drug smuggling, posing as fishermen, with the Navy or law enforcement agencies, as they strive to help protect the future generations of the country from the harmful impact of drug-related activities.