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Sri Lanka plans to set up marine Customs Enforcement Unit to combat drug menace

The Sri Lanka Customs is planning to set up a Marine Customs Enforcement Unit to combat the smuggling of hard drugs or narcotics into the country, Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera said. The statement comes in the wake of series of seizure of drug contraband while being smuggled into the country.

There has been a suggestion to set up a Marine Customs Enforcement Unit with boats and special trained personnel. That will improve the Customs service to a great extent to prevent and control narcotics coming into the country, Minister Samaraweera was quoted by the Sri Lankan media. 

There had been detections/raids of drugs in the country, but a majority of them were made by other authorities, such as via sea, and not mainly through the Customs.

After the end of a 30-year war, large hauls of drugs like 'Kerala ganja' or Indian-grown cannabis had been made, some of which are entering the country through coastal regions in former war zones.

Sri Lanka has had a sea-based service until recently to tackle the drug menace. With setting up this unit it will help to make special raids,   Director General of Customs Ms. P. S. M. Charles said.


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