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Customs suspect ‘LTTE gold’ smuggled out of north
Published Date: 13/04/2018 (Friday)

By Rathindra Kuruwita


The navy has heightened surveillance and stepped up intelligence gathering as regards gold smuggling operations and its efforts have been crowned with results in the form of increasing detections, Navy Spokesperson, Commander Lankanatha Dissanayake says.


Dissanayake said so in answer to a query posed by The Island following the detection by the navy, on Wednesday, of the largest haul of gold, which was being smuggled out of the country this year. The successful anti-smuggling operation was carried out by the North Central Command.


Customs media spokesperson Sunil Jayarathna said that they suspected that large stock of gold, seized by the Navy, may have been part of the stocks that were buried by the LTTE during the war.


"The Navy apprehended three Sri Lankans attempting to smuggle 24.2 kilos of gold out of the country in a boat. There were 242 gold biscuits, each weighing 100g, in the boat and the gold is valued at Rs 150 million. The suspects, the gold and the boat used by smugglers are to be handed over to the Jaffna Customs Office."


Dissanayake said attempts were being made to smuggle gold to India by boat on a regular basis as gold was cheaper here. "Different groups are involved in this smuggling operations and most of the smugglers are residents of Mannar," Dissanayake said.


"This is not the first detection this year," he said.


On April 8 sailors attached to the North Central Naval Command nabbed three persons with 2.6 kilos of gold being smuggled out to India at the seas off Pesalai. The gold, in the form of 26 biscuits, was valued at Rs. 20 million. On February 6 two persons were detained with 3.7 kilos of gold in the seas off Kankesanthurai Lighthouse, on the evening of February 6. On January 29 two Sri Lankans, who were attempting to smuggle 12 kilos of gold to India, were also arrested by the navy off the seas off Urumalei. The stock of gold was valued over Rs. 70 million.

Source: The Island

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