Sri Lanka Navy has intercepted a fishing dhow carrying six Indian nationals with 2379kg of Beedi leaves, in the north-western seas of Sri Lanka yesterday (29).
Sri Lanka Navy Ship ‘Sagara’ had spotted a suspicious dhow entering Sri Lankan territorial waters crossing the International Maritime Boundary Line from Indian waters.
Accordingly, SLNS ‘Sagara’ with the assistance of SLNS ‘Suranimila’ on patrol had intercepted the suspicious dhow in seas 22 nautical miles off the St. Anne’s Church, Thalavila.
During a further search, 74 packages containing Beedi leaves were found by the Navy. Subsequently, the dhow along with suspects onboard was also taken into naval custody.
Upon being escorted to the naval base SLNS ‘Vijaya’ in Kalpitiya, the seized Beedi leave packages were handed over to the Colombo Customs office while the fishing dhow and apprehended Indian nationals were handed over to the Police for further investigations.
Following the directives of Commander of the Navy Vice Admiral Piyal De Silva, the Navy has introduced strong measures to prevent drug traffickers entering the Sri Lankan waters in the guise of fishermen.
As such the Navy has seized over 27,000kg of Beedi leaves this year alone. The Navy says regular operations to curb these illegal activities taking place in island’s waters will be continued further.