Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) during several operations conducted in North-Western and North-Central Naval areas during the last two days (Oct 30 and 31), nabbed 16 suspects with 4150 kilos of dried turmeric smuggled into the country.
Pursuing a suspicious movement of racketeers and interrogating them, North-Western Naval Command nabbed a turmeric stock in a patrol carried out at the coastline of Erambugodella in Ettalai, Puttalam, SLN said.
Accordingly, SLN nabbed 2042 kilos of dried turmeric in 65 sacks, one light-truck, a motorbike and five suspects during the operation.
During a similar operation, SLN nabbed a haul of smuggled dried turmeric with two dinghy boats when those parcels were loading to a truck at the Periyapadu coastline.
Further, the investigations assisted to recover more dried turmeric parcels stored in an adjoining safe house, SLN also said. As a result, 1600 kilos of dried turmeric packed in 45 sacks, two dinghy boats and a cab were nabbed along with eight suspects involved in the racket.
Tracking another dried turmeric smuggling attempt, North Central Naval Command nabbed eight parcels floating at sea about 508 kilos. Tracing a suspicious dinghy associated with smuggling, SLN nabbed 3 suspects during the operation.
Operations to curb smuggling attempts were conducted adhering to stipulated healthcare guidelines for pandemic prevention, SLN confirmed.
The racketeers identified as residents of Puttalam, Ettalai, Konthantivu, Madurankuliya, Palavi and Mannar were between 20 to 64 years age.
The sanitized haul of turmeric, items and the suspects were handed over to the Customs Preventive Office in Katunayake and Mannar Police for onward legal proceedings, SLN also said.