It is reported that in addition to drug trafficking, the Mannar coast is also being used for turmeric powder smuggling. The Navy has seized 8,245 kilograms of turmeric brought to Sri Lanka by the sea in the past three weeks.
Two days ago, a landslide occurred at Daluwa, Norochcholai and Wankalai beaches in Mannar. A stock of dry turmeric weighing about 807 kg was seized by the Navy, a Navy statement said.
In another operation conducted in Daluwawa, the North-West Navy arrested four suspects who were attempting to smuggle about 700 kilograms of dried turmeric in two dinghies.
The smuggled goods were packed in 14 sacks. The suspects are aged between 25 and 58 and are residents of Kalpitiya.
During a patrol off the coast of Wankalai in Mannar, the North Central Navy found 107 kilograms of wet sacks in two suspicious sacks washed ashore.
The Navy said that the suspects in the two recent incidents in Daluwa and Vankalai were handed over to the Sinnapadu and Jaffna Customs Offices for legal action along with stocks of dried turmeric and dinghy.
The government has imposed an import ban to prevent the rupee from depreciating due to the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 epidemic. The price of turmeric has gone up due to the ban, but the Consumer Affairs Authority has set a maximum retail price of Rs. 750 per kilogram for turmeric. In April, it was reported that the price of a kilogram of turmeric in some areas exceeded Rs. 3,000.