By Darshana Sanjeewa Balasuriya
A large consignment of over 14,000 kg of refuse tea was seized by the STF during a raid at Kandegoda in Ambalangoda yesterday.
The STF said three suspects were also taken into custody along with the consignment. Initially, the STF arrested two suspects who were transporting 4,000 kg of refuse tea in a lorry. Further questioning of the suspects led the STF to raid a warehouse in the area and found another large consignment of more than 10,000 kg of refuse tea.
They arrested a suspect at the warehouse and also recorded statements from nearly 15 workers who were at the warehouse at the time of the raid.
It was revealed that the warehouse workers were from the Ambalangoda, Wellampitiya, Modara and Kiribathgoda areas who were engaged to operate the refuse tea racket secretly.
The STF said according to the initial investigation, a refuse tea container had been left at the warehouse on Tuesday night. They said investigations are underway to arrest the kingpin who was involved in the racket.
Further investigations are being conducted by the Sri Lanka Tea Board and the Ambalangoda Police.
STF team led by CI Nadeeka Silva conducted the raid on the instructions of STF Commandant Senior DIG M. R. Latheef.