Smuggled fags worth Rs. 75 mn seized

A team from the Special Task Force headquarters, acting on a tip-off on Saturday, raided a hideout at Kurukulamba, Ragama of an underworld gang involved in smuggling cigarettes into the country, seized 13,145 cartons (200 cigarettes each) of Gold Seal cigarettes valued at Rs. 65,625,000 and arrested two suspects.

On information elicited from the two men, the STF personnel raided another hideout at Bandaranaike Mawatha, Colombo 12, where contraband cigarettes were stored.

The police commandos recovered 2,000 cartons of Gold Seal cigarettes valued at Rs. 10,000,000 and arrested two suspects who were getting ready to transport the consignment of cigarettes to another location. A vehicle was also taken into custody.

The cigarettes and the two men arrested in Ragama were handed over to the Ragama police while those arrested in Colombo and the cigarettes they had in their possession were handed over to the Kotahena police.

The raids were conducted by a team of STF personnel led by Inspector Nadeeka Silva under the supervision of SP Varuna Jayasundara on the instructions of its Commandant DIG R. W. M. C. Ranawana.

The total value of the cigarettes taken into custody, from both places was Rs 75,625,000.

In a raid conducted in 2009 on a Sapugaskanda hideout, the STF took into custody smuggled cigarettes to the value of Rs. 40,000,000.

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