Foreign vessel with 250 kg of heroin in Navy net | Sunday Observer

Foreign vessel with 250 kg of heroin in Navy net

12 December, 2021

A foreign vessel with 250 kilograms of heroin was busted by the Navy, 900 nautical miles off the country’s Southern coast yesterday, a senior official said.

Six foreign nationals from a South Asian country were also arrested along with the vessel and the narcotics, Navy Spokesperson, Captain Indika De Silva said.

He said the vessel was being escorted to Sri Lankan waters and it may take at least three days for it to reach a local port.

Undercover naval operatives along with sleuths from the Police Narcotic Bureau had kept the vessel under close surveillance for several weeks before they decided to move in yesterday, Captain De Silva said.

He said yesterday’s detection was the fourth since August this year and all the vessels were of a similar identity indicating that they belonged to a single large drug syndicate operating in the high seas. The vessels were described as multi-day fishing boats.

On August 30, the navy seized 290 kilograms of heroin followed by another haul of 336 kilograms on September 4 and 170 kilograms of heroin six days later.

“It appears that the drugs were not intended for local consumption but the smugglers were using Sri Lankan waters for transshipment since this region has limited naval activity,” Captain De Silva said.

The narcotics seized by the navy for this year alone have a street value of nearly Rs. 13.6 billion and this would rise with yesterday’s detection, he said.