Sri Lanka: Officials Destroy Record Haul of Cocaine

Sri Lanka: Officials Destroy Record Haul of Cocaine

Sri Lanka publicly destroyed U.S. $108 million worth of cocaine in January 2018. Authorities seized the load in the Port of Colombo, which is increasingly becoming a transit hub favored by drug smugglers in Asia.

The authorities destroyed 928 kilograms of the drug, confiscated as part of the largest single seizure of cocaine in Sri Lanka. It was found in August 2016 in a container of timber on a Colombian ship bound for India and represented part of more than 1,700 kilograms of cocaine seized in the past three years. Another 840 kilograms was found in sugar shipments from Brazil.

The drug haul was destroyed under a special facility in a cement factory close to the country’s main airport.

“We are very serious about the zero tolerance policy on this. … We have a long way to go,” said Minister of Law and Order Sagala Ratnayaka, who attended the event.

“Sri Lanka is being used as a transit hub. This haul would have been for transit purposes, and some parts of it come into Sri Lanka. There is a distribution process, and we are tracking the network and the peddlers.”

Senior police officials said some gangs are seeking to mask their shipments to Australian and European markets by bringing them into Sri Lanka, then sending them on in Sri Lankan containers.  Reuters