Navy takes hold of over 1220kg of smuggled dried turmeric

The Navy took hold of about 1220kg and 700g of smuggled dried turmeric, during special operations conducted at beach of Thewampiddi in Mannar, beach area of Nachchikuda in Mulankavil and Palleimunai in Mannar on 17th and 18th October 2021. The operations also made way to the seizure of a dinghy, a three-wheeler and a suspect in connection to these incidents.

Sri Lanka Navy has been conducting regular operations in coastal waters around the island to curb wide-ranging illegal activities stemming from sea routes. In a similar operation SLNS Buwaneka in the North Central Naval Command recovered 12 sacks of dried turmeric from a dinghy abandoned at the Thewampiddi beach this morning (18th October). It is believed that racketeers might have left behind the consignment, weighing about 621kg, fear of naval operations.

In another operation at the Nachchikuda beach on 17th October, SLNS Buwaneka managed to recover another 79kg and 700g haul of dried turmeric, cast away at the beach by smugglers, as a result of naval presence.

In the meantime, SLNS Gajaba took hold of a suspect with about 520kg of dried turmeric, while being transferred illegal means by a three-wheeler in Palleimunai area on 17th October. The three-wheeler used for the illegal act was also taken into naval custody in this operation.

The operations were conducted adhering to COVID-19 protocols to prevent possible transmission of the pandemic. The suspect held with dried turmeric and a three-wheeler in Palleimunai is a resident of Mannar, aged 51. The accused together with seized items was handed over to the Mannar Police for onward legal action. The dried turmeric stocks and the dinghy apprehended in Thewampiddi and Nachchikuda has been kept in naval custody until they are produced for onward legal proceedings.