The Sri Lankan Navy today arrested three Indian nationals who had attempted to smuggle in two kilogrammes of heroin in a boat in the seas off Arippu in Mannar.
The arrest came a week after three Navy Ratings were assaulted by a group of villagers of the same town when a team of Navy intelligence officers attached to the Silawathurai Navy Camp in Mannar arrived in the Arippu area to check on information received by them about Kerala Ganja was being smuggled into the country in boats that came by sea using this area as an entry point.
In yesterday's detection naval personnel attached to SLNS Barana located in Mullikulam in the North Western Naval Command arrested the suspects when they tried to smuggle the drugs after entering the country in the guise of being local fishermen, Navy spokesman Akram Alavi explained.
The Indian fishermen were arrested during a special operation in the area conducted by the navy.
Captain Alavi said they were trying to find out whether there was a connection between the assault incident and the three arrests which were made today.
“It was uncertain whether there was a conspiracy to remove the navy from the area so that the racketeers can smuggle in drugs easily to the country,” he said.
“The persons who were arrested and the haul of heroin would be handed over to the Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) for onward investigations.(Darshana Sanjeewa)