Smuggled consignment of Kendu leaves seized off Wennappuwa

A special search operation conducted by the Navy in the sea area of Wennappuwa led to the seizure of over 379kg (wet weight) of Kendu leaves in the wee hours of 22nd March 2023. The consignment of Kendu leaves, which is suspected to have been smuggled via sea, was adrift in waters when it was recovered by the Navy.

The Navy conducts regular search operations in coastal and sea areas of the island to prevent nefarious activities being carried out via sea routes. As an extension of these efforts, the search operation was carried out by a team of Special Boat Squadron stationed at Naval Detachment Negombo belonging to SLNS Kelani, in the Western Naval Command. Accordingly, the search operation, conducted in the early hours of today, led to the recovery of 12 suspicious sacks which were adrift in the sea area of Wennappuwa. The sacks had been stuffed with smuggled Kendu leaves weighing about 379kg and 300g (wet weight).

It is believed that smugglers might have thrown them overboard due to regular operations of the Navy in the area. Meanwhile, the seized consignment of Kendu leaves was handed over to the Customs Preventive Office, Katunayake for onward legal proceedings.