SLN seizes heroin worth Rs 1.6 B
In yet another successful operation, Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) intercepted a foreign fishing vessel with nine foreigners aboard carrying over 170.866 kilogrammes of heroin worth more than Rs 1,575 million (Rs 1.6 billion) and 306 grams of opium in international waters south of Sri Lanka on 10 September, SLN said on Saturday (18). The interdicted vessel together with its crew and illicit cargo was brought to the Colombo Port on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the gross street value of the heroin seized during major drug busts by the SLN beginning from 30 August to date is believed to be over Rs 7 billion. In earlier Intelligence operations conducted by SLN Intelligence in collaboration with the State Intelligence Service, it seized a local multi-day fishing trawler with five locals attempting to smuggle about 290.2 kgs of heroin into Sri Lanka last month and on 4 September, SLN intercepted a foreign fishing vessel together with seven foreigners on board, carrying another 336.3 kgs of heroin in international waters off the Southern Coast.
On the 10 September detection, SLN said based on the information disclosed from the two previous investigations and taking into account Intelligence information made available by Sri Lanka Police, SLN’s offshore patrol vessel SLNS Sindurala detected a suspicious foreign fishing vessel about 850 nautical miles (approximately 1,574 kilometres) south of Sri Lanka. SLNS Sindurala on suspicion searched the vessel and found its illicit cargo.
It is suspected that this foreign fishing vessel carrying the narcotics was supposed to be stationed by smugglers in international waters to subsequently get the narcotics transferred to a local multi-day fishing vessel and transported to Sri Lanka. Onward investigations and legal proceedings into the incident will be conducted by the SLN and the Police Narcotics Bureau. SLN Chief of Staff, Rear Admiral Y.N. Jayarathna, addressing the SLNS Sindurala crew engaged in this operation, praised them for a job well done.