Lanka seizes $65mn worth of drugs
April 01 2020 10:50 PM
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narcotics
Sri Lankan Navy personnel sort out narcotics seized from a flagless cargo carrier, at a fisheries harbour near Colombo yesterday.

AFP/Colombo

Sri Lanka’s navy has seized $65mn worth of crystal methamphetamine and ketamine in the country’s biggest drugs bust, officials said yesterday. 
Acting on a tip-off, authorities raided a flagless vessel in the country’s southern waters and arrested nine Pakistani men suspected of smuggling the drugs.
Navy personnel, wearing special protective clothing in case the suspects had Covid-19, found 605kg of crystal meth, also known as ice, and 579kg of ketamine, said Navy 
Commander Piyal de Silva.
“This is the first time we have found ketamine and it is likely that the smugglers were trying to take this cargo to some East Asian destination,” de Silva told reporters in the capital Colombo.
Sri Lanka’s defence ministry said the drugs had an estimated street value in Colombo of about Rs12,500mn ($65mn), making it the country’s biggest single 
seizure of drugs.
Last month, the navy seized two foreign trawlers carrying more than $33mn worth of 
heroin and ice.
Authorities said initial investigations suggested the Iran-Pakistan coast was the point 
of origin.
Meanwhile, a curfew currently in force in the districts of Colombo, Gampaha, Kalutura, Puttalam, Kandy and Jaffna will continue until further notice, the President’s Media Division said, IANS reports.
In all other districts, curfew which was re-imposed on Monday afternoon continued till yesterday.
The villages of Atalugama in the Kalutara district and Akurana in Kandy have been declared completely isolated areas.
No one is allowed to enter or leave from these two villages 
until further notice.



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