Navy seizes over 1385kg of smuggled dried turmeric and 23g of heroin with 18 suspects

During separate operations conducted in the North Central, Northern and Eastern Naval Commands in the past week, the Navy was able to seize 1385kg and 500g of smuggled dried turmeric with 08 suspects and 23g and 02mg of heroin with 10 more suspects in several areas in the island.

In a special search operation conducted in the sea area of Erukkulampiddi, Mannar on 29th November 2020, the North Central Naval Command had intercepted 02 suspicious dinghies and held 753kg and 500g (wet weight) of dried turmeric stuffed in 14 gunny sacks along with 05 individuals aboard as well as the 02 suspicious dinghies. In another search operation, the Navy managed to seize about 632kg (wet weight) of dried turmeric in 17 sacks, after searching a Wallam Boat arrived at the Usimukkanthurai Beach in Mannar on 30th November. Three (03) suspects on the Wallam Boat and their vessel were also held by the Navy during this operation.

Elsewhere in the town area of Mannar, the North Central Naval Command and Mannar Police nabbed a suspect for peddling 08g and 920mg of heroin on 30th November and 02 more suspects with 02g and 580mg of the same substance on 26th November.

In another development, the Eastern Naval Command combined with Sardhapura Police STF to apprehend 05 suspects with 06g and 170mg of heroin and a motorbike, during a search conducted in Muthur area on 25th November 2020. Meanwhile, the Northern Naval Command with the assistance of Jaffna Police collared 02 suspects in possession of 05g and 350mg of heroin, in a search carried out in Jaffna town on 22nd November.

All these separate operations were conducted adhering to the health and safety regulations imposed by health authorities as COVID-19 precautionary measures. The apprehended suspects were identified as residents of Pesalai, Erukkulampiddi, Palleimunai, Muthur, Nallur and Kokuvil from 20 to 47 years of age. Along with the suspects, the stocks of turmeric, heroin, vessels and motorbike were handed over to the Jaffna Customs Office and Police stations of Mannar, Muthur and Jaffna for onward legal action.