Reuters: The Sri Lankan Navy yesterday detained six Indian nationals for allegedly smuggling 13.5 kg of drugs, suspected to be heroin, across the International Maritime Boundary Line.
The Sri Lankan Navy, according to a post on its website, had detected suspicious movement of an Indian boat while crossing the waters into Sri Lanka in the wee hours.
Those detained, who claimed to be fishermen, have been taken to the Kankesanthurai Naval Camp to be questioned. The boat in which they allegedly smuggled the contraband has also been impounded.
The detention of fishermen by the Lankan authorities is a frequent occurrence as they often cross the International Maritime Boundary Line.
The Navy has reportedly seized 130 kg of heroin and cocaine and about 2,140 kg of cannabis in the past year, arresting 19 Indians during the same period.
India shares an expansive oceanic border with Sri Lanka without any perceptible demarcation and fishermen on both sides ignore rules while netting their catch.
Sri Lanka has long fumed over poaching and illegal fishing by Indian fishermen that it says depletes the catches of its own fishermen.
According to the Sri Lankan Navy website, over 60 Indian fishermen have been arrested in March alone.
The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea states that fishermen who cross territorial waters can be warned and fined but not arrested.