The Sri Lankan Navy seized 336 kilogram of heroin from a trawler in an operation in Male and brought the haul back to Colombo, IANS has reported. The seized heroine is believed to be worth Rs. 3.1 billion. Seven Pakistan nationals were apprehended in the operation.
The vessel was reportedly acting as a multi-day fishing trawler and was transporting drugs to other boats. Further investigation into the matter is currently underway. The operation was carried out by the Sri Lankan Navy with assistance from the Police and other intelligence services from the country.
Defence Secretary General (Retd.) Kamal Gunaratne and Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Nishantha Ulugetenne, were reportedly present at the Colombo Harbour to inspect the narcotics haul where it was brought after the seizure.
According to report, a few days prior, Sri Lanka Navy Intelligence and State Intelligence Service carried out a similar operation based on information received from a coordinated intelligence operation. That operation resulted in the seizure of 290kg and 200g stock of heroin and led to the apprehension of 5 suspects and vessel used for smuggling.
The recent operation was based on the information received earlier. Subsequently, SLNS Samudura intercepted the foreign vessel. Authorities in Sri Lanka suspect that the vessel was meant to be stationed in international waters with the objective of smuggling narcotics into the country.
In December last year, Sri Lankan authorities seized Rs 2.5 billion worth of drugs which originated from Gwadar port in Pakistan. Four people were arrested for transporting heroin and crystal methamphetamine to Sri Lankan boats from the Pak Dhow that had set off from China-controlled Gwadar port of Pakistan.