Feb 16, Colombo: Sri Lanka Navy said it has earned the over US$ 20 million to-date, since taking over the duty of facilitating On-board Security Teams (OBST) 15 months ago.
The duty undertaken was an extension of maritime security operations in which the Navy got actively involved in keeping island waters safe and secure for maritime commons and freedom of navigation.
At the existing currency exchange rate, the earnings amount to a staggering Rs. 3 billion, through OBST operations from mid November 2015. The earnings had come from over 8,200 ship movements predominantly through Galle and Colombo operation centers. Accordingly, the Navy facilitates 550 OBST moves at an average earnings of approximately Rs. 200 million per month.
The Sri Lanka Navy took over OBST duties following a special directive by President Maithripala Sirisena. The earnings are directly deposited in the Consolidated Fund of the Government.
Sri Lanka Navy is responsible of receiving, storing and issuing of weapons, ammunition and equipment registered with foreign and local On-board Security Teams (OBST) who operate for merchant shipping companies.