May 18, 2022
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    Plans are afoot to destroy illegal drugs soon after seizure – Defence Secretary

    January 26, 2022

    Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) nabs a sizable haul of heroin with 11 suspects and two fishing vessels.

    SLN believes street value of this seizure to be over Rs. 3300 million.

    Def Secy says fishermen shouldn’t fall prey to this kind of criminal offences.

    New laws will be introduced to destroy illegal drug hauls in front of a judicial officer immediately after the seizure while retaining a sample for legal proceedings, said Defence Secretary Gen. Kamal Gunaratne, (25 Jan).

    “This initiative is in the pipeline and it has to undergo several administrative stages at the various state institutions including Ministry of Justice, Attorney General's Department and Legal Draftsman's Department” he added.

    Gen. Gunaratne expressed these remarks during his visit to the East Container Terminal of the Colombo Port in order to witness the sizable haul of heroin which was seized with 11 suspects and two fishing vessels by a Navy Ship about 737 nautical miles away from the country’s southern coast on 17 and 22 January respectively.

    Two vessels involved in the drug smuggling loop were nabbed and one vessel among them has been sailed from Trincomalee to carry a portion of drugs, he also revealed during the session.

    Citing about the vessels in custody, Defence Secretary's message to innocent Sri Lankan fisherman who immensely contribute to Sri Lankan economy, is “do not fall prey to this kind of criminal offences and otherwise they will be brought before the law which is leading to go behind the prison cells”.

    Further speaking on the combined operation, he went on saying “it was conducted to curb the illegal drug ring which is controlled by drug lords” adding that “we will continue similar operations in future too”.

    Gen. Gunaratne responding to media also revealed “plans were drawn to nab this narcotic haul by SLN in coordination with the Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) and the intelligence services while retaining in sea for two weeks despite the rough sea conditions.

    Defence Secretary pledged “We strive to thwart influx of illegal drugs via sea routes with the support of law enforcing agencies” indicating that entire drug haul which is nearly 350 kilos will be handed over to the PNB with the suspects for onward legal proceedings.

    He also praised the Navy Chief, senior naval officers involved, crew of the SLN Ship Samudura, PNB and State Intelligence Services for their committed service rendered in order to see a country free of drugs.

    SLN believes that the street value of this seizure to be over Rs. 3300 million.

     

     -Defence

     

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