Five Air Force personnel – four in uniform and one in civvies – were taken into custody by the Colombo Division Police Vice Squad today while they were transporting a stock of illicit cigarettes worth of Rs.400,000 in a vehicle belonging to the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF).
The police on information searched the vehicle at Technical Junction in Maradana and seized 40 cartons of a German brand of cigarettes named ‘Pride’ which contained 8,000 sticks in it.
Under interrogation, the suspects had told the police they were coming from Thunmulla to Pettah to drop their member in civvies at the bus depot for him to catch a bus to Hingurakgoda.
They had told the police that the stock was being transported to be sold at the SLAF Welfare Shop in the Hingurakgoda Camp. The suspects had however declined to disclose from where they had received the illegal cigarettes.
The suspect in civvies, a Flight Sergeant who was supposed to take the stock to Hingurakgoda by bus, was taken into custody.
He was later handed over to the Keselwatta Police along with the stock of illicit cigarettes. He will be produced in the Maligakanda Magistrate’s Court tomorrow. (Kurulu Koojana Kariyakarawana)