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Navy seizes over eight tonnes of dried turmeric smuggled into Sri Lanka

ECONOMYNEXT – The Sri Lanka Navy over the past three weeks seized over 8,245kg of dried turmeric smuggled into the island via sea routes.

Yesterday the Navy seized a stock of dried turmeric weighing about 807kg on the beaches of Daluwa, Norochcholai and Vankalai, Mannar, the Navy said in a statement today.

In another operation carried out in Daluwa, naval personnel attached to the Northwestern Naval Command had nabbed four suspects who had been attempting to smuggle in about 700kg of dried turmeric aboard two dinghies.

The smuggled items had been stuffed in 14 gunny sacks. The suspects detained in connection to the incident were identified as residents of Kalpitiya, aged from 25 to 58 years.

Naval personnel of North Central Naval Command, during a patrol near the beaches of Vankalai, Mannar, had detected two suspicious sacks washed ashore and recovered approximately 107kg (in wet weight) of turmeric in those sacks.

The accused in connection to the recent two incidents in Daluwa and Vankalei, together with the stocks of dried turmeric and dinghies were handed over to the Sinnapadu and Jaffna Custom Offices for onward legal action, the Navy said.

There is an import ban by the government in order to prevent the rupee from falling due to the economic crisis that was created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to this ban, the prices of turmeric has skyrocketed, although the Consumer Affairs Authority imposed a maximum retail price of Rs 750 per kilogramme for turmeric. In April, the price of 1kg of turmeric was reported to be over Rs 3000 in some areas. (Colombo/Aug19/2020)

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