Mannar explosives imported for fishing 

  • Court order obtained to destroy stock

By Buddhika Samaraweera

The cache of explosives seized by the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) in the Mannar area on 20 November was imported with the intention of being used for fishing, according to Police Media Spokesman Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Nihal Thalduwa.

The SLN, in a special operation conducted at the Shanthipuram beach in Mannar on 20 November seized nearly a metric tonne of water gel sticks, which is a type of commercial explosive, and arrested two suspects who were in possession of the cache. The suspects, aged 54 and 57 years, are residents of the Shanthipuram and Vankalai areas. During the said operation, the SLN also searched a suspicious house in the locality and found 7,990 water gel sticks weighing about 998,750 kg, which were illegally stored in the said house.

Accordingly, when contacted by The Morning, SSP Thalduwa said that it had been confirmed that the cache of explosives had been brought to Sri Lanka for use in fishing activities. He further said that a court order has been obtained from the Mannar Magistrate’s Court in order to destroy the explosives.

“Court orders have been obtained to detain and question the two suspects arrested in connection with the incident. In addition, the boat used to transport the explosives was also seized and further investigations are being carried out by the Police,” he added.