Sri Lanka Navy seizes another foreign vessel smuggling heroin, arrests 09 foreign nationals
Sat, Sep 18, 2021, 10:32 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.
Sept 18, Colombo: Sri Lanka Navy has seized a foreign fishing vessel carrying over 170 kg of heroin worth over Rs. 1.5 billion along with nine foreign crew members in the international waters south of Sri Lanka.
On intelligence information provided by the Sri Lanka Police and obtained from two previous operations, Sri Lanka Navy Intelligence and the Sri Lanka Navy ships and vessels conducted a special operation to nab the foreign fishing vessel carrying narcotics, Navy Media Unit said.
Having spotted the suspicious foreign fishing vessel in about 850 nautical miles (approx. 1574 km) SLNS Sindurala went on to intercept the fishing vessel and searched it on suspicion.
The search made way to the recovery of about 170kg and 866g (including packages) of heroin in 150 packages and 306g of the drug substance known as Opium concealed in the vessel. Along with the haul of narcotics, the Navy nabbed 09 foreign suspects who were aboard the fishing vessel.
The seized foreign fishing vessel along with the consignment of drugs and the suspects were brought to the port of Colombo under the escort of SLNS Sindurala this morning (18th September).
The identity of the foreign suspects apprehended has not yet been confirmed.
It is suspected that this foreign fishing vessel carrying the narcotics was supposed to be stationed by smugglers in international waters to get narcotics transferred and fetch them into the country, under the guise of a vessel engaging in multi-day fishing activities.
In earlier intelligence operations conducted by the Navy Intelligence in collaboration with the State Intelligence Service, the Navy on 31st August 2021 seized a local multiday fishing trawler smuggling about 290kg and 200g of heroin and held 05 local suspects in high seas.
Again on 04th September 2021 the Navy intercepted a foreign fishing vessel carrying another 336kg and 300g stock of heroin in international waters off the southern coast and apprehended 07 foreign suspects aboard.
Onward investigations and legal proceedings into the incident will be carried out by the Navy and Police Narcotic Bureau.