Sri Lanka seizes 300kg of heroin worth $22.6 million

COLOMBO (AFP) - Sri Lanka's police seized nearly 300kg of heroin worth almost US$17 million (S$23 million), the island's biggest haul of the narcotic, and arrested two people, spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera said on Sunday (Feb 24).

Anti-narcotics agents and police Special Task Force commandos raided a mall car park in the capital Colombo Saturday evening and found the drugs hidden in two vans, Gunasekera said.

"The heroin was packed in 272 plastic bags and ready for distribution," Gunasekera said. "We are now investigating how this consignment got into the country." He said the narcotics weighing 294.4kg had a street value of about three billion rupees (S$22.6 million).

In 2013, police seized 260kg of heroin brought into the country hidden inside tractors imported from Pakistan.

Sri Lanka's biggest drug haul, by weight, was in December 2016 when police seized 800kg of cocaine.

The authorities believe the Indian Ocean island is also being used as a transit point by traffickers.

In 2014, anti-narcotics authorities seized 90kg of cocaine concealed in sugar containers from Brazil. In the same year, police detained 14 foreigners after seizing 110kg of heroin worth US$7.5 million from an Iranian fishing trawler.