Seven individuals have been arrested in connection with yesterday’s (19) discovery of a cocaine haul estimated to be worth around Rs. 3.2 billion, Police said.
The Ministry of Industry and Commerce said that the cocaine haul was detected by employees of Lanka Sathosa, whilst the supplies were being loaded off the truck.
“A tender bid for sugar supplies, was called on July 18 by CWE (Sathosa) and a private sector sugar supplier called Ranjitha Traders was selected on the same day due to their fulfilment of specified tender criteria.”
“The qualified Ranjitha Traders thereafter has despatched this sugar container to CWE warehouse at Ratmalana Economic Centre,” a statement said.
The Ministry said that the country of origin of the container is Brazil and that upon arrival of the container to Colombo Port, the container was taken to Orugodawatta Container Terminal Yard was inspected and re-sealed.
Lanka Sathosa employees received the container fully sealed, it said.
“They opened the container and began unloading contents from the container (placed on the private owned container transport vehicle) and loading the cargo to CWE goods-lorry.”
“Moments later Lanka Sathosa employees who were transferring cargo from container to CWE lorry detected the unusual parcel inside the container, stopped their work and immediately informed Mt. Lavinia Police of the suspicious cargo.”
Mt. Lavinia Police yesterday (19) reported that the quantity discovered was around 160 kg.
However, Police today (20) confirmed that the total cocaine stash weighed 218.6 kg and was worth over Rs. 3.2 billion.
The suspects will reportedly be transferred to the custody of the Narcotics Prevention Bureau for onward legal action.