Navy seizes more smuggled dried turmeric

A special operation carried out by the Navy on January 8 in the northwestern seas resulted in the seizure of about 8,769kg of dried turmeric and the arrest of 12 suspects.

“The seized consignment of turmeric along with Indian nationals was brought ashore on January 9 for further investigations,” the Navy Media Unit said.

Having spotted two suspicious Indian dhows in Sri Lankan waters off Kudiramalai Point in the wee hours of January 8, the Northwestern Naval Command carried out this special operation and intercepted the suspicious dhows. During further search, about 8769kg of smuggled dried turmeric in 173 sacks, attempted to be smuggled into the country, was found in the dhows.

Along with the consignment, 12 Indian nationals aged between 19 to 70 and two Indian dhows were also held by the Navy. The preliminary investigation into the incident revealed that the racketeers had plotted to transfer the consignment of turmeric to a local vessel at sea, to be smuggled into the island.

The entire operation was carried out in compliance with COVID-19 preventive guidelines and the seized dried turmeric stock, Indian nationals along with other belongings will be handed over to the Customs Preventive Office in Katunayake for onward legal action. Meanwhile, the Indian dhows seized during the operation are detained with the Navy, until they are handed over for onward investigation.

The Navy is continuing its operations to curb similar smuggling activities taking place in the island’s waters.

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