Smuggling Route

February 18, 2010 (AFP) – Sri Lankan police on Thursday seized 28 kilos (62 pounds) of heroin worth 780,000 dollars in a major blow to smugglers who are believed to be use the island as a drug trafficking route from India. The narcotics were found during a raid early Thursday in the northwestern fishing village of Kalpitiya, Inspector Lakshman Ranwalarachchi from the local police said, adding that one man had been arrested.

“We believe the drugs were smuggled from neighbouring India,” he told AFP by phone.

A police spokesman in Colombo, Prishantha Jayakody said the narcotics had a street value of 90 million rupees (780,000 dollars). In a previous major discovery, some 38 kilos of heroin were seized two years ago, he said.

The latest haul came a day after police arrested a Pakistani man at the island’s only international airport as he tried to smuggle in nearly a kilo (around two pounds) of heroin on Wednesday night.

Most seizures take place at the airport, but the Police Narcotics Bureau believes that a substantial number of shipments, mostly heroin from India, land on Sri Lanka’s northwestern coast before being sent to other destinations.