Navy seizes local fishing trawler carrying about 131kg of heroin, valued over Rs. 3250 million, concealed in secret chambers of its hull

Based on intelligence information received from the Sri Lanka Coast Guard, the Sri Lanka Navy seized a local multi-day fishing trawler, on suspicion of smuggling drugs, during a special operation carried out about 356 nautical miles (700km) off the Dondra Head, in southern waters. The Navy deployed SLNS Parakramabahu for this special operation in which 06 suspects in connection to the illegal act were also held. The fishing trawler was escorted to Galle harbour, where a thorough inspection led to the discovery of 131 kg 754 g of heroin concealed in secret chambers of its hull. The seized narcotics have an estimated street value exceeding Rs 3250 million. Meanwhile, the Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera inspected the haul of narcotics at the Galle harbour on 15th June 2024.

To realize the national aspiration of eliminating the drug menace, the Navy is actively engaged in anti-drug operations across the country's maritime zones and is closely collaborating with law enforcement agencies to conduct regular operations in pursuit of this objective.

Accordingly, this special operation was mounted by the Sri Lanka Navy based on intelligence information received from the Sri Lanka Coast Guard. Thus, the Navy mobilized SLNS Parakramabahu for this dedicated operation in which a suspicious local multi-day fishing trawler was intercepted about 356 nautical miles (700km) off the Dondra Head. Following inspection of the fishing trawler, the Navy found about 30g of heroin from the trawler. Accordingly, the Navy apprehended 06 suspects aboard on 06th June and escorted the trawler to the Galle harbour for thorough inspection.

During thorough inspection at the Galle harbour, the Navy found 130 parcels of heroin concealed in the hull of the trawler. The packages of heroin weighed about 131 kg 754 g.

Meanwhile, the gross street value of the seized heroin is believed to be more than Rs. 3250 million.

The apprehended suspects, who are from 23 to 43 years of age, have been identified as residents of Dondra and Gandara areas. The 06 suspects, together with 131 kg 754 g of heroin and the fishing trawler held in this operation will be handed over to the Police Narcotic Bureau for onward legal action.

The Sri Lanka Navy plays a pivotal role under the able leadership of Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera who is also the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force to Combat the Use of Poisonous and Dangerous Drugs, continuing operations to apprehend drug smugglers. During naval operations conducted so far in the year 2024, the Navy has been able to seize narcotics valued at over Rs. 13210 million street value and has handed over those substances to authorities for legal proceedings.

It is in this backdrop, the Navy is urging the public to share information regarding individuals involved in drug smuggling, posing as fishermen, with the Navy or law enforcement agencies, as they strive to help protect the future generations of the country from the harmful impact of drug-related activities.