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ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) has seized Kerala cannabis worth a total of 65 million rupees in Jaffna in 20 days, the navy said.

The latest haul was cannabis with a street value of 27 million rupees that was seized on Saturday August 19 in the northern peninsula. Over 93kg of it was found on the beach at Saukkadi, Madagal in Jaffna, stuffed in 40 packs kept in a shrimp weir.

The stock is in SLN custody until further investigations.

The navy said it suspects that smugglers might have left behind the consignment in the shrimp weir, being unable to bring it ashore, due to naval operations in the area.

On August 03, 49kg and 380g (wet weight) of Kerala cannabis was seized during a search operation conducted near the Mannar sandbanks. The cannabis was in 20 packs that were found buried in the area by smugglers. The gross street value of the seized cannabis is believed to be about 14 million rupees, the navy said.

Another operation conducted by the Navy at Mannar Sand Banks on the evening of 02nd August 2022, led to the seizure of about 47kg and 240g (wet weight) of Kerala cannabis. The gross street value of seized Kerala cannabis is believed to be around 14 million rupees.

On August 04, SLN had fished out 34kg and 38g (wet weight) of Kerala cannabis floating in the seas between Kayts and Punguduthive Islands in Jaffna, stuffed in eight packs. The gross street value of seized cannabis is believed to be about 10 million rupees.

Navy Spokesman Captain Indika Silva told EconomyNext that most of the cannabis being arrested is suspected to be smuggled into the country for the consumption of locals while Sri Lanka is sometimes used as an exchange point for other narcotics circulating in the region.

“We have arrested about one ton of heroin this year. However, the smuggling of heroin seems to have reduced these days,” said Silva.

“However, cannabis seems to be coming in because there are no reports of arrests while it’s smuggled out of the country.”

Police Spokesman SSP Nihal Thalduwa was unavailable for comment. (Colombo/Aug20/2022)

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