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Estimated value over Rs. 2 b

Around 160 kgs of suspected cocaine seized:

The Police Narcotics Bureau and Mount Lavinia Police seized 160 kilograms of suspected cocaine in a container at Ratmalana Dedicated Economic Center, yesterday.

The estimated street value of the drugs is over Rs. 2 billion, police said.

According to Police Media Center, the drugs were found hidden in a sugar container.

Contacted by us Mount Lavinia Police Headquarter Inspector Rohana Pushpakumara said they have launched investigations following the seizure of a suspected cocaine load at Ratmalana.

Asked if he knew the quantity of the seized consignment, he said they have launched an investigation into it and they had yet to determine the details.

“Police Media Center sources said that the drugs were detected based on a receipt of information. The Police Narcotics Bureau and Mount Lavinia Police are investigating,” they said.

Meanwhile,the Ministry of Industry and Commerce in a statement said the detection was made at the warehouse of CWE (Sathosa) Rathmalana Economic Centre while offloading container contents.

The ministry statement went on to say, a tender bid for sugar supplies, was called on 18 July 2017 by CWE (Sathosa) and a private sector sugar supplier was selected on the same day due to their fulfilment of specified tender criteria.

The qualified Trader thereafter despatched this sugar container to CWE warehouse at Ratmalana Economic Centre.

The country of origin of the container is Brazil. Upon arrival of the container to Colombo Port, the container was taken to Orugodawatta Container Terminal Yard was inspected and re-sealed.

Lanka Sathosa employees received the container fully sealed.

They opened the container and began unloading contents from the container (placed on the private owned container transport vehicle) and loading the cargo to CWE goods-lorry.

Moments later Lanka Sathosa employees who were transferring cargo from container to CWE lorry detected the unusual parcel inside the container, stopped their work and immediately informed Mt Lavinia Police of the suspicious cargo.

The Police who arrived identified the cargo to be 150 Kg of cocaine.