Mar 06, Colombo: Sri Lanka Navy together with the Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) recently busted an international drug smuggling operation in the deep seas off the southern coast of Sri Lanka seizing the biggest ever haul of drugs at sea.
The haul of drugs seized consisting 400 kilograms of heroin and 100 kilograms of the ICE (crystal methamphetamine), and the three foreign fishing trawlers that brought the drugs were brought to the Dickovita Fisheries Harbor yesterday.
Following a 25-day long joint operation in the deep seas 600 nautical miles away off Southern coast by, the Navy also arrested 16 foreign drug smugglers and seized two fishing boats.
“Apart from the intelligence sources, we also utilized satellite information with the support of various international sources to detect and analyze the tracks of suspicious small boats,” Navy Commander Vice Admiral Piyal De Silva told the media.
He said human and drug smuggling at seas would be more difficult for smugglers now as the Sri Lanka Navy is using latest technology in its naval operations to curb human and drug smuggling at seas.
“We have arrested suspects including foreigners involved in the racket”, he said addressing the media at the Dikowita Harbour where the whole package was brought ashore by the Navy yesterday.
SLNS Samudura and Sayurala were the offshore patrol vessels deployed for the mission over the period.
PNB’s Deputy Inspector General Sajeewa Madawaththa said they had identified the three links -international, Asian and interior layers in which drug smuggling are being carried out in the country.
“As operations are still on, we will produce all those individuals, who are involved in this well connected racket, before the law,” he said.
Racketeers had been doing this under the guise of fishing vessels without a country’s flag sailing suspiciously at sea.
The SLN has also recognized Sri Lankan fishing vessels, which were reaching the location to receive drug parcels from the smugglers.
“Nabbing of total drug inflow into the country via sea is not possible and practical, but it signifies the demand and consumption within the island”, Vice Admiral De Silva said.
“This initiative is team work and a top-down approach which backed by the government”. “Our expectation is to create a drug free nation for future generations” he noted.
He said drug menace was one of the mostly focused subjects apart from the national security that the top military officials were discussing at weekly Security Council meetings.