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International cocaine smugglers using Sri Lanka as transit hub

International cocaine smugglers are using Sri Lanka as a transit hub to transport cocaine across Asia say authorities, Reuters reported.

Narcotics officers have recently made seizures of cocaine smuggled in containers of sugar from Brazil. Around $140 million worth of cocaine was found mainly in the Brazilian sugar containers.

Produce is usually transferred into smaller boats at sea and then brought ashore. 

This is apparently despite the Sri Lankan navy's formidable presence along the island's coastline. 

Customs spokesman Sunil Jayaratne said “after reaching here, they go out in small boats, they use fishing boats.”

“Sri Lanka is becoming a hub for cocaine as it is a risk-free location with less legal restrictions,” the news wire quoted a police official as saying. 

“We don’t believe that these containers came here mistakenly. Why are these cocaine containers not going to any other country which imports Brazil sugar?”

The island's minister of law and order, Sagala Ratnayaka told Reuters, “Sri Lanka is a transit point for mass-scale drug dealers.”

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