Navy averts smuggling attempt, for the first time seizes stock of beedi smuggled by sea

During a special search operation conducted in northern sea area, the Navy managed to apprehend 02 persons attempting to smuggle 295kg (in wet weight) of tobacco products (beedi) in the wee hours on 26th June 2020.

Sri Lanka Navy has been conducting regular operations to avert drugs and other contrabands being smuggled via sea routes. During a similar operation conducted by Northern Naval Command in northern sea area in the wee hours on 26th June 2020, a suspicious dinghy had been spotted. During further search, the Navy managed to seize 295kg (in wet weight) of tobacco products (beedi) in 06 packages. Even if the Navy has seized a large amount of beedi leaves previously, this remains to be the very first occasion that the Navy held a stock of beedi products smuggled via sea routes. The 02 suspects together with the haul of beedi were taken into naval custody by following proper hygiene and decontamination procedures due to COVID – 19 global pandemic.

The apprehended persons were identified as residents of Jaffna, aged 33 and 37. The accused along with the seized items were handed over to the Sankanai Excise Department for onward legal action.