Naval operations net about 1,428kg of smuggled turmeric

Naval operations conducted in Norochcholai and on Wella Island in Kalpitiya on 29th August 2020 led to the recovery of about 1,428kg of dried turmeric attempted to be smuggled into the country by sea.

Accordingly, the Navy had apprehended 02 suspects with a stock of dried turmeric in 26 gunny bags in Norochcholai area. Along with the smuggled turmeric consignment a lorry and a motor car used by the suspects for this racket were also impounded by the Navy. After interrogation of the 02 suspects the Navy was able to apprehend 04 more individuals with a dinghy which was believed to be used to smuggle this stock of turmeric, at Thoraiadi Pier in Kalpitiya.

Meanwhile, another tip-off received from the above 04 suspects took the investigation to a different course where the Navy managed to find 18 more gunny sacks stuffed with dried turmeric which had been hidden at the Wella Island in Kalpitiya, after they being smuggled into the country by sea. In a similar vein, the Navy was also able to find a 294kg stock of dried turmeric in 12 gunny sacks, hidden on the Ippantivu Island in Kalpitiya. Accordingly, the entire operation had seized about 1,428kg of dried turmeric, a dinghy and a lorry apart from the 06 suspects held by the Navy. The suspects have been identified as residents of Kalpitiya and Kotiyakumbura areas, aged from 20 to 44. Meanwhile, the accused along with the rest of seized items were handed over to the Kalpitiya Police for onward investigation.

Including the most recent seizure, the Navy has busted for about 3,861kg of dried turmeric during naval operations carried out in Thalvupadu, South Bar in Mannar, Nadukuda, Arippu, Talaimannar, Ettalai in Puttalam, Norochcholai and Kalpitiya from 21st August. Besides, the naval operations carried out from 28th July up to now have paved the way to seize a staggering 12,270kg of dried turmeric tried to be smuggled in by racketeers. Further, 25 suspects involved in turmeric racketeering have also been nabbed during these operations.

Due to COVID-19 concerns the entire naval operation was conducted in compliance with guidelines stipulated by health authorities and all items seized by the Navy were subjected to a thorough decontamination process as well.