Human smuggling - important dimensions
The Police have arrested about 200 suspects and 15 facilitators in
respect of human smuggling offences since January 9, 2012 to date and 99
percent of the offenders are purportedly of minority communities, said
Police Media Spokesman, SP Ajith Rohana addressing a panel discussion on
preventing human smuggling and trafficking held at the Sri Lanka Press
"The police has identified that the minority communities are more
vulnerable to be misled by smugglers on the pretext of obtaining asylum
or citizenship easily on the basis of their minority status. They are
requested to pretend that they are being ill-treated and discriminated
against by the majority. This situation not only puts innocent people in
trouble but also brings disrepute to the image of the country", he said.
He said the existing laws are regulated continuously to prevent such
cases and that the Police are committed and take appropriate action
along with other related agencies such as the ILO, Immigration and
Emigration Department, Foreign Employment Bureau, Bandaranaike
International Airport security unit and the Sri Lanka Navy.
"We have a Special Crimes Investigation Bureau at the Criminal
Investigation Department and a special unit at the Bandaranaike
International Airport. Apart from that there are 43 Children's and
Women's Bureaus throughout the country which work in respect of human
trafficking offences. They specially deal with cases regarding internal
trafficking", he said.
He further said that today since Sri Lanka has become a transit point
of smuggling and trafficking, passengers are screened well at the
airport especially to identify the Afghans and Pakistanis who have a
tendency to migrate to Australia, and Canada via Sri Lanka.
The security measures that have been in operation enabled tracing
some suspects in June.
The Sri Lanka Police has conducted several training programmes for
police officers, and have a recording system to trace the information of
The Criminal Investigation Department also has a special unit which
operates to prevent human smuggling and trafficking attempts. According
to SP Rohana many suspects have already been convicted although certain
cases are pending in courts.
The delay is attributed to the time factor required to complete
investigations before cases are filed. At times, recordings of foreign
embassy officials have to be done and documents need to be traced.
Some facilitators are in countries like Australia and Canada.
Especially Sri Lankan facilitators are traced to Australia, New Zealand
and certain European countries.