By Darshana Sanjeewa Balasuriya
Five suspects were arrested with a large haul of crystal methamphetamine and heroin worth Rs.1,180 million rupees which were seized by the Navy and Police Narcotic Bureau officials in the seas off Galle, Navy Spokesman Lieutenant Commander Isuru Sooriyabandara said.
He said 74.6 kilograms of heroin and 65.7 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine were among the seized drug haul on Saturday.
The suspects were arrested on charges of smuggling, trafficking and possession of narcotics.
They were aged between 33 and 53 and identified as residents of Dikwella, Beliatta, Piliyandala, Tangalle and Kudawella.
They were to be produced in the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court.
Meanwhile, the Defence Ministry said it has given instructions to the security forces, including the Police, to intensify raids on widespread illegal drug smuggling, including kerala ganja (cannabis).
Defence Secretary Maj.Gen. (Retd) Kamal Gunaratne said directives came from President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to expedite raids and also to strengthen surveillance on drug traffickers.
“Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) and Police are conducting raids on illegal drugs very effectively and under President’s directives, the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) has also stepped into combating the drug mafia,” he said.
He said the main intention of getting the security forces and the Police to one fold was to create a well-coordinated programme to combat drug menace.
“We are committed and dedicated to control drug trafficking to protect our future generation,” the Defence Secretary said.
Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) and Police are conducting raids on illegal drugs very effectively and under President’s directives, the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) has also stepped into combating the drug mafia