Sri Lanka’s largest-ever heroin haul, weighing 278 kg and worth Rs.3,336 million, was detected in Dehiwala today, in a New Year’s Eve raid conducted jointly by the Police Narcotic Bureau (PNB) and the Special Task Force (STF).
The operation uncovered the country’s main safe-house for heroin distribution. Police had initially arrested two Bangladeshi nationals, aged 44 and 30, from a housing complex in Templers Road, Mount Lavinia, with nine kg of heroin, spokesman SP Ruwan Gunasekara said.
“The heroin was packed in cake boxes. One suspect had a remote controller for a roller gate and other keys. We found that the keys belonged to a two-storey house on Kawdana Road, Dehiwala. During the raid, the PNB and STF found heroin-filled packets, containers and luggage items everywhere in the house,” SP Gunasekara said.
The house had been rented out by foreign drug smugglers, and had been used as a safe-house for drug distribution throughout the country, he added.
On December 14, two suspects were arrested at Pagoda Road, Nugegoda, with one kg of heroin concealed in a cake box. On December 15, a Bangladeshi woman was arrested in Dehiwala with another cake box of heroin. Later, 31 kg of heroin was discovered in a building in Ratmalana, rented out by the suspect woman, SP Gunasekara said.
“We believe these heroin detections are part of the latest haul, as they have the same packaging. The safe-house had been used to weigh and repack expired drugs. We also found a haul of cocaine weighing 5 kg worth Rs.75 million,” he said, speaking to journalists at the safe-house.
SP Gunasekara said the two Bangladeshi nationals had arrived in Sri Lanka on December 23. “They will be produced in courts to obtain a detention order. So far there is no evidence of any Sri Lankan being involved in the racket. We believe the drugs were transported by sea and air,” he said.
The previous largest heroin haul, weighing 261 kg and stored in grease tins, was detected in Orugodawatte in 2013.