Six persons, Mirissage Neville Wasantha Fernando alias Stanly (39), Liyanage Joseph Fernando alias Warnan (43), W.D. Asiri Chamara Nisanka Fernando (25), Warnakulasuriya Juwan Warnage Samantha Fernando (23) and Juwan Warnage Anthony Fernando (53) of Mahawewa Kotuwawa and Kelum Kumara Sanjeewa Fernandopulle (22) of the Iranawila Fisheries Village who were convicted of a number of charges including the importation of heroin worth over thirty million rupees from India were sentenced to life imprisonment yesterday by Negombo High Court Judge Tudor Gunaratne.
The accused were charged with conspiring to import the substance illicitly, importing 14,071 grams heroin to Sri Lanka on or around 21 April, 2001 and keeping the heroin in their possession.
The heroin was taken into custody at the Negombo lagoon by a special police team led by ASP Priyantha Jayakody of the Peliyagoda police Special Investigation Unit.
The accused were convicted on all charges.
The High Court Judge stating that the charges had been proved beyond any reasonable doubt sentenced the accused to life imprisonment in lieu of the death penalty after taking into consideration the period they spent in remand prison.
State Counsel Janaka Bandara prosecuted, Counsel Ananda Hettiarachchi appeared for the first accused.
Counsel U.R. Silva appeared for the 2nd , 4th 5th and 6th accused while Counsel Lakshan Athukorala appeared for the third accused.