Navy apprehends suspects with stock of smuggled turmeric

Upon detection of a suspicious trawler in the sea area about 10 nautical miles (18km) off the Chilaw Point, the Navy apprehended 04 suspects aboard, along with gunny sacks stuffed with turmeric, on 11th August 2020.

Subsequently, the trawler and smuggled items held by the Navy were brought to the Dikkowita fisheries harbour for further investigation, as it was difficult to conduct a full-scale inspection at sea due to concerns of the pandemic. The load of smuggled consignment which has been measured to be about 6381kg in wet weight was handed over to the Sri Lanka Customs for onward investigation, after proper decontamination.

On the assumption that the 04 suspects had close association with Indian smugglers out at sea, the 04 individuals together with their family members were referred to quarantine process, following the directives of health authorities.

Meanwhile, based on information revealed by the 04 suspects aboard, the Navy in coordination with the Sri Lanka Coast Guard and Chilaw Police carried out another raid in the town area of Chilaw and nabbed 09 more individuals who were believed be prospective dealers in connection to the same incident. A minivan and Rs. 2,242,500.00 in their possession were also held during this raid. The accused were identified as residents of Wattala, Katugastota, Kandy, Beruwala and Thoduwawa areas, from 27 to 66 years of age. It was further revealed that the owner of the trawler was also among the group of accused. Meanwhile, the detainees together with their belongings were produced to the Chilaw Police for onward legal action.

In such wise, the Navy has been able to bring another bunch of smugglers to justice, as a result of its regular patrols being conducted in a bid to keep a tight rein on nefarious activities in Sri Lankan waters. Incidentally, the sea going arm will continue to play its noble role being the resisting force that repels the influx of narcotics and other contraband into the country via sea routes.