Written by Zulfick Farzan
03 Feb, 2022 | 11:43 am
COLOMBO (News 1st); In a special operation carried out by Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) in coordination with Sri Lanka Police and intelligence agencies, another drug-carrying foreign vessel was intercepted in international waters south of Sri Lanka on 26th January 2022.
This foreign multiday fishing trawler, remaining on high seas with a view to transferring the consignment to a local fishing vessel, had jettisoned about 200kg of heroin into sea, when it was approached by the Navy.
During a further search of the vessel, the Navy managed to recover about 250g of heroin and a satellite phone.
Accordingly, the Navy nabbed 09 foreign suspects aboard in connection to this racket. The apprehended suspects along with the foreign vessel were brought to the port of Colombo for further investigations on Thursday (03rd February).
The coordinated operation paved the way to thwart the influx of another large quantity of illegal drugs to the country.
Sri Lanka Navy has been conducting regular anti-drug operations in waters around the island to help support the government’s ambition of rescuing the future generation from the menace of drugs.
Based on a coordinated intelligence operation of the Navy, Sri Lanka Police and intelligence agencies, this special operation was mounted by the Offshore Patrol Vessel SLNS Sayurala.
Accordingly, the SLN ship, after about 02-week-long surveillance in international waters, spotted a suspicious foreign vessel remaining on high seas about 1081 nautical miles (about 2002km) off Dondra, south of Sri Lanka.
When a special Navy team was sent to search the suspicious foreign vessel, the individuals of the vessel were spotted jettisoning several sacks, when seen the presence of the Navy.
It was later revealed that the racketeers had thrown overboard about 200kg of heroin in 08 sacks. Upon reaching the suspicious vessel, a team of naval personnel boarded the vessel and found about 250g of heroin remaining and a satellite phone.
As such, the Navy nabbed 09 foreign nationals aboard and seized the foreign vessel and other belongings.
Though the sea area concerned was searched by a team of naval personnel for jettisoned sacks of drugs, no clue was found from the sea area which was rough and has a depth of about 3800m.
The operation was carried out adhering to COVID-19 protocols to prevent possibilities of the transmission of the pandemic.
Meanwhile, onward investigations and legal proceedings into the incident will be carried out by the Navy and Police Narcotic Bureau. Further investigations are led based on the seized satellite phone.
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