Ceylon: Hooch in the Hold

Although it has never fought a war, the bathtub Royal Ceylon Navy* might at least be expected to defend its homeland, off southern India, against smugglers. But last week many a Ceylonese was wondering whose side of the smuggling racket the fleet was really on.

Climaxing a two-year investigation, a commission of inquiry in Colombo accused 22 Ceylonese navy officers—the cream of the top naval leadership—of conspiring to smuggle a treasure-trove of contraband into the country. Chief among them is the former naval chief of staff, Rear Admiral Royce de Mel, 47. When he sailed grandly home from a...

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