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Sri Lanka army nabs smuggled turmeric, Kerala ganja in Mannar

Image courtesy Army Media

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s military on Wednesday (23) apprehended a haul of contraband turmeric and cannabis along with four Sri Lankan suspects. According to the army’s media unit, a total of 205.7 kilograms of turmeric and 104 kilograms of Kerala ganja (cannabis) were found on two separate occasions.

Army troops manning roadblocks along the Medawachchiya-Mannar road around 6.30 last evening had stopped a suspicious-looking Dimo Batta mini truck and upon searching the vehicle had found turmeric worth over Rs 820,000 with two suspects, the army said in a statement.

Around the same time, troops at the Kunchikulam roadblock apprehended Kerala ganja along with two suspects en route to another destination from Mannar in a freezer vehicle. The value of the detected cannabis stands at Rs 20.8 million, the army said.

“Army, Navy and Air Force troops throwing their full weight behind the government’s all-out war against narcotics, drugs and smuggling of contraband have in the past few days recovered drugs, turmeric and other contraband from Mannar and elsewhere. Investigations are underway,” Army Media 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 price of turmeric has skyrocketed, although the Consumer Affairs Authority imposed a maximum retail price of 750 rupees per kilogram for turmeric and an import tax of 102 rupees per kilogram. In April, the price of 1kg of turmeric was reported to be over Rs 3000 in some areas. (Colombo/Sep24/2020)

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