Heroin in camouflage packs resembling potatoes containing two and half kilograms of the drug with a street value of Rs. 12 million was detected by the Customs when a consignment of potatoes from Pakistan was checked at the Port of Colombo, Customs Superintendent P. K. A. Dayawansa Senarath (post clearance and audit branch) told the Daily News yesterday.
The container carrying 1,900 bags of potatoes weighing 30,000 metric tonnes arrived in the Port on Sunday and the Customs men had to spend 10 hours to find the 46 'artificial potatoes' hidden among the natural potatoes. It was the first time that Customs detected drug smugglers bringing in heroin packed with potatoes in this manner, he said.
Today is International Day for prevention of narcotics. It was a rare and marvellous detection made by the Customs who had acted on information received. The importer had been importing potatoes for nearly a year and further investigations being conducted by Customs Narcotics officers W.Wickramasinghe and Mahinda Kalpage, he said.
Police Narcotics Division was also called into assist the investigations.