Sri Lanka

In 2012, security services in Sri Lanka seized a total of 33 pounds of drugs that were being trafficked.

In 2013, the amount of hard drugs seized increased to 660 pounds.

Criminal justice officials believe that most of the drugs originate from India, and the traffickers use Sri Lanka as a transit hub for shipments to Australia.

Source:  AFP, “Sri Lanka emerging as a heroin transit hub,” Emirates 24/7, December 17, 2013.

People smugglers operating in Australia were charging asylum seekers up to $10,000 to be smuggled into Australia, according to reports from criminal justice programs.

In 2012, police identified 278 boats that was carrying  asylum seekers and operated by people smugglers. In the first six months of 2013, nearly 196 boats were identified by police.

Data from various criminal justice programs across the country found that most of the people paying smugglers to be brought into Australia originate from Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.

(Additional prices charged by human smugglers.)

Source:  “Arrests over people-smuggling in Australia,” Al Jazeera, August 29, 2013.

Between October 2001 and June 2012, the Australian Crime Commission reported that 964 people died while attempting to reach Australia for asylum purposes.

605 of the deaths occurred between October 2009 and June 2012.

A majority of the people who died who were attempting to reach Australia originated from Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

The number of people who have been seeking asylum by boat in Australia has been increasing each year. In 2008-2009, a reported 985 people landed in Australia. In 2009-2010, criminal justice programs reported 5,327 landings, which, dropped slightly to 4,750 in 2010-2011, and then doubled to 8,092 people in 2011-2012.

Source:  “People Smuggling Has Led To Almost 1,000 Deaths, Says Report,” Bernama, July 30, 2013.


Authorities in the United Kingdom broke up a human smuggling ring that was moving people from Sri Lanka into the country.

The human smuggling ring was charging each Sri Lankan up to $6,825 (£4,500) to be smuggled illegally into the United Kingdom.

Source:  “Arrests made in illegal immigrant smuggling raid,” BBC News, May 22, 2013.

According to wildlife charities, between 3,500 to 5,000 manta rays are killed each year for their gills.

A fisherman in Asia is able to make up to $40 for each Manta ray gill that he sells. The dried gills end up in China being sold for up to $2,000.

The estimated value of the illegal trade in Manta rays is between $5 Million to $10 Million a year. In areas where the Manta ray are living, the economic value of the species to the tourism industry is worth $100 Million.

In the waters off of Indonesia, the population of Manta rays has declined by 56 percent. In Sri Lanka, the population has declined by 86 percent.

Source:  Damian Carrington, “Manta rays: how illegal trade eats its own lunch,” Guardian, Environment Blog, March 5, 2013.

Since the end of the civil war in Sri Lanka in 2009, there has been an increased in the number of people arrested for illegal drug offenses.

In 2009, law enforcement agencies arrested 19,000 people on various drug crimes. In 2010, the number of arrests increased to nearly 30,000.

In 2011, the number of drug arrests continued to increase to 40,000.

In the first half of 2012, some 19,000 suspects were arrested for drug crimes in Sri Lanka.  The estimated street value of the drugs seized in the first half of 2012 was worth $7.7 Million. Most of the foreign drug dealers in the country came from India and Pakistan.

According to government data, nearly 3,000 Sri Lankans were being treated for drug abuse in 2009.

(Latest drug trafficking statistics here.)

Source:  “SRI LANKA: Upsurge in illegal drug seizures,” IRIN, October 4, 2012.

In the first six months of 2012, the Department of Immigration in Australia reported apprehending 1,340 people from Sri Lnaka who were attempting to claim asylum.The number of asylum seekers was almost five times the number of total people seized in 2011.

The Australian Navy seized between 6 to 7 boats that were attempting to smuggle people into the country.

Source:  Dinouk Colombage, “Human Smuggling On The Rise In 2012,” Sunday Leader, July 15, 2012.

Police in Colombo, Sri Lanka broke up a human smuggling ring in the country that was smuggling people into Australia. The operators of the ring were charging people $1,500 (200,000 Sri Lanka Rupees) to be smuggled into Australia through a fishing boat.

Click here to see other prices paid by migrants attempting to be illegally smuggled into a country.

Source:  “Sri Lanka police arrest 113 asylum seekers trying to migrate to Australia,” Colombo Page ,May 28, 2012.

Law enforcement agencies in Sri Lanka arrested 22,691 people for marijuana-related crimes between January and October 2011.

An addition 11,787 arrests were made for either using, dealing or trafficking heroin in the country, according to a report by the US State Department.

(See the cost of marijuana here.)

Source:  “2012 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report,” United States Department of State, March 7, 2012.

An estimated 45,000 heroin users in Sri Lanka use around 763 kilograms of heroin each year, according to the National Dangerous Drugs Control Board. This averages out to over 2 kilos of heroin being consumed each day by drug abusers.

In the capital of Colombo, there are an estimated 350 heroin dealers working within the city.

(More information about heroin addiction.)

Source:  “Drug addicts in Sri Lanka use two kilos of heroin per day,” ColomboPage, February 1, 2012.