By Darshana Sanjeewa Balasuriya
Three Indian nationals were arrested with 1,000kg of beedi leaves during a joint operation conducted by the Sri Lanka Navy and Coast Guard in the seas off Kudiramalai, Kalpitiya yesterday.
The Navy had spotted a suspicious fishing dhow in the seas off Kudiramalai and a Sri Lanka Coast Guard Ship patrolling in north-western seas had been directed to intercept the
During further search of the vessel, approximately 1000kg of beedi leaves in 33 packages had been recovered along with three Indian fishermen.
Navy believe that the arrested suspects aged 26, have attempted to smuggle the consignment to the country by boat to hand over it to smugglers operating in the country.
The suspects along with the stock of beedi leaves were to be handed over to the Colombo Customs and the Indian fishing dhow was escorted to the naval base SLNS ‘Vijaya’ for further investigations.
Navy said they had recovered nearly 50 tons of beedi leaves from operations carried out at sea and on the shore during this year alone.