Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena (2nd L) inspects the seized cocaine to be destroyed in a suburb of Colombo, Sri Lanka, April 1, 2019. Sri Lankan authorities publicly destroyed 769 kilograms of cocaine seized in nationwide raids during the past few years, local media reported. (Xinhua/A. Hapuarachchi)
COLOMBO, April 2 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lankan authorities publicly destroyed 769 kg of cocaine, which the police had seized in nationwide raids carried out during the past few years, local media reported on Tuesday.
The heroin valued at over Rs.10 billion (an estimated 57 million U.S. dollars) was destroyed on Monday in the presence of President Maithripala Sirisena in a warehouse in the outskirts of capital Colombo.
Police officers first liquefied the cocaine, which was packed in more than two dozen sacks in front of two magistrates. It was then taken to be disposed in a cement factory located in Puttalam in north western Sri Lanka.
Speaking at the event, Sirisena said this was the second time the government was publicly destroying all the drugs seized by the investigating officers in raids conducted throughout the country.
The president said authorities had publicly destroyed over 900 kg of cocaine in January 2018.
Sirisena said his aim was to free the future generations from drugs as Sri Lanka had become a transit hub for drug smugglers in Asia.
He said he would soon implement the death penalty on those convicted of drug smuggling and trafficking in a large scale.