The Indian Navy has handed over the arrested crew of the Sri Lankan fishing vessel, along with the seized 300 kg narcotics from it, to the Narcotics Control Bureau for further investigation, official sources said here on Tuesday,

The Sri Lankan Navy has now seized 336 Kilogram of heroin from a trawler in the high seas off the coast of Male on September 1. The navy had apprehended the trawler in the high seas and brought the same to capital Colombo on September 4. Seven Pakistani nationals who were aboard this trawler have also been taken into custody.

Personnel on Indian Naval Ship “Suvarna”, which was on surveillance patrol in the Arabian Sea, had arrested five Sri Lankan nationals on board the vessel.

They said the seized fishing vessel, which was brought to Kochi coast on Monday, is presently berthed alongside in Mattancherry wharf.

The vessel reportedly operated as a multi-day fishing trawler transporting drug consignments to other boats. The navy has also opened an investigation into this and no weapons have been recovered from the vessel so far.

The Sri Lankan navy was recently involved in an incident with Indian fishing boats. The fisheries department alleged that Sri Lankan navy personnel pelted stones on Indian boats causing damage to about 60 of them and also damaged fishing nets in around 25 boats, news agency PTI had reported. The boats involved in the incident were fishing near Katchatheevu on August 21.

In a similar incident, the Lankan navy had chased away fishermen from the Palk Strait on July 4 and damaged their fishing equipment. Lankan navy personnel allegedly chased away the Indian fishermen at gunpoint on t and “cut the nets up each costing about one lakh rupees,” fishermen association chief Sesu Raj told news agency PTI, adding that such instances have been on the rise and that Central government should intervene.


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