A special operation conducted by the Navy at the Shanthipuram beach in Mannar today (November 20) has led to the seizure of illegally stored 7,990 water gel sticks, a type of commercial explosive, weighing more than 998 kg.
The Navy also took two suspects into custody in connection with the incident.
The Navy has been conducting regular operations in the coastal areas of the island to prevent smuggling activities.
In a similar operation, a special team of naval personnel attached to SLNS Thammanna and Gajaba in the North Central Naval Command, in coordination with the Mannar Police mounted this special operation at Shanthipuram beach in Mannar today.
During the operation, the raiding party searched a suspicious house in the locality and found these water gel sticks in question which had been stored there by illegal means.
The cache of commercial explosive items held in the operation weighed about 998.750 kg, according to the Navy.
It is believed that these commercial explosive items have been hidden away at the location after being smuggled, with the intention of using them for blast fishing.
The operation was conducted adhering to COVID-19 protocols in force for the prevention of the transmission of the pandemic.
The suspects held in the operation are reportedly residents of Shanthipuram and Vankalai, aged 54 and 57 years. Further investigations into the incident are being carried out by the Navy and Mannar Police.