Navy takes hold of over 989kg of smuggled dried turmeric in northern waters

Sri Lanka Navy seized about 989kg (wet weight) of dried turmeric, during separate search operations carried out off Gurunagar and Mandaitivu, Jaffna on the night of 19th January 2023. The search operations also led to the apprehension of 04 suspects in connection to the rackets.

The Navy remains ever alert and conducts patrols and search operations in the coastal areas of the island to prevent the influx of contraband. As an extension of these efforts, the Inshore Patrol Craft deployed by SLNS Kanchadewa in the Northern Naval Command had spotted a suspicious dinghy off the Mandaitivu Island on 19th January. During search of the dinghy, the Navy managed to find about 496kg and 054g (wet weight) of dried turmeric (in 14 sacks) being smuggled and apprehension of 02 suspects with the dinghy used for the illegal act. Further, naval personnel also retrieved about 48kg and 030g (wet weight) of dried turmeric (in 01 sack) thrown overboard by the suspects.

Meanwhile, the Navy Marines attached to SLNS Welusumana also searched a suspicious dinghy off Gurunagar in the dark hours of 19th January. The search has led to the seizure of 12 sacks stuffed with smuggled dried turmeric, weighing about 445kg and 800g (wet weight). The Navy also apprehended 02 suspects involved in the illegal act and the dinghy used for the same purpose.

The suspects apprehended in these search operations were identified as residents of Mannar and they are from 33 to 51 years of age. The accused together with the stock of dried turmeric (weighing about 989kg and 884g in wet weight) and 02 dinghies will be handed over to the office of Jaffna Customs for onward legal proceedings.