Navy seizes over Rs. 50 million worth Kerala cannabis and dried turmeric in separate operations

A special operation conducted by the Navy in seas off Thondamanaru in the dark hours on 19th August 2021 led to the seizure of about 168kg and 750g of Kerala cannabis and apprehension of 03 suspects with a dinghy used for the smuggling purpose.

Accordingly, the Fast Attack Craft P 432 and P 484 of the 04th Fast Attack Craft Flotilla (4 FAF) attached to the Northern Naval Command with Inshore Patrol Craft P 177, Z 196, P 015, P 112, and Z 183, engaged in this special operation, spotted a suspicious dinghy in Thondamanaru seas, speeding off towards land. Meanwhile, the suspects aboard attempted to throw overboard several sacks from the dinghy and escape from the scene, when noticed the approaching Navy units. As such, the Navy intercepted the dinghy and took 03 suspects aboard into naval custody. Further search carried out by naval craft in the sea area also recovered 05 polythene sacks cast away by the suspects. The sacks contained 168kg and 750g of Kerala cannabis stuffed in 75 packages. Meanwhile, the street value of the seized stock of Kerala cannabis is believed to be over Rs. 50 million.

In another special operation conducted by a team of Rapid Action Boat Squadron attached to the Northwestern Naval Command by means of Inshore Patrol Craft Z 130 and Z 230, covering the sea and beach areas of Ippantivu in Kalpitiya, 03 suspects were apprehended, after searching a suspicious dinghy at Ippantivu lagoon. The dinghy had been loaded with about 650kg of dried turmeric (in 21 sacks) attempted to be smuggled in by the suspects.

These operations were carried out adhering to the COVID-19 protocols in place due to pandemic concerns and the 03 suspects apprehended during the operation in Thondamanaru are residents of Silawathura and Mamunei, from 21 to 28 years of age. The accused along with the stock of Kerala cannabis and the dinghy were handed over to the Kankasanthurai Police for onward legal action. Meanwhile, the 03 suspects held with the stock of dried turmeric were handed over to the Customs Preventive Office in Sinnapadu, with the consignment of contraband for onward legal proceedings.