Sri Lanka seizes 200kg of heroin in massive raid

Sri Lankan police have made their biggest heroin bust since 2013, seizing 200kg of the drug. Heroin is made from the poppy plant.
Sri Lankan police have made their biggest heroin bust since 2013, seizing 200kg of the drug. Heroin is made from the poppy plant.PHOTO: REUTERS

COLOMBO (AFP) - Sri Lankan police on Thursday (May 11) made one of their biggest heroin hauls in years, days after unidentified gunmen shot dead an anti-narcotics agent near Colombo.

Police said the 200-kilogramme haul - worth more than two billion rupees (S$18.5 million) on the street - was found stashed inside plastic bags in a car north of Colombo.

It was the biggest heroin seizure since 2013, when 260kg were taken off the street, police said.

The seizure came after a drugs agent was killed Tuesday in a shootout that also wounded several other officers.

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"Our latest detection shows we will not be deterred by attacks against our men," police said in a statement.

It is suspected the drugs were smuggled by boat into Sri Lanka. Police believe the Indian Ocean island is being used as a transit point by traffickers.

Last June, anti-narcotics authorities seized 90kg of cocaine concealed in sugar containers from Brazil. Two months earlier police detained 14 foreigners after seizing 110kg of heroin worth US$7.5 million from an Iranian fishing trawler.