By Darshana Sanjeewa Balasuriya
A total stock of 2264.9 kilos of beedi leaves was recovered by the navy during a search operation conducted in Mannar and Talaimannar.
Navy said the North Central Naval Command, during search operations carried out in Nadukuda, Wankalei and Old Pier beach areas on August 23 and 24.
The stock of beedi leaves was in 27 packages, washed ashore. The recovered consignment of beedi leaves was handed over to the Jaffna Customs for onward investigation.
The Navy said they recovered 2839.4 kilos of beedi leaves from aforesaid areas during search operations carried out within two days.
Meanwhile, the Navy found another 120 kilos of beedi leaves from a dinghy which was in distress in the seas northwest of the Talaimannar lighthouse, due to rough sea conditions on Saturday.
Accordingly, a naval vessel deployed for routine patrol by the North Central Naval Command found 120 kilos of beedi leaves, in two packages, in a dinghy which was adrift in the aforesaid sea area.
It was revealed that there were two fishermen in the distressed dinghy and one had saved his life from this eventuality. Naval search operations are currently underway to find the other fisherman. The haul of beedi leaves and the dinghy were handed over to the Jaffna Customs for onward investigation, the navy said.