|Monday, 7 July 2003|
Local king-pin of int'l drug ring arrested
by Sarath Malalasekera
The Police Narcotics Bureau made a prize catch over the weekend when they netted in a Sri Lankan suspected to be the local king-pin of an International drug ring which supplied a network of distributing centres in Sri Lanka. The suspect was arrested while he was returning from India by Officials of the Police Narcotic Bureau (PNB) assisted by Grandpass Police.
PNB, Narcotics Crime and Anti Alcohol DIG Gerard Ignatius and Director Police Narcotics Bureau Senior SP Pujitha Jayasundera said that they were conducting investigations against the International drug trafficker who is wanted in a number of pending cases. Several Courts had issued warrants for his arrest, PNB officials said.
The PNB officials were able to trace the International drug trafficker through a letter sent to the suspect by an associate now in a Madurai Prisons in India. In the letter the associate had requested for Indian Rupees 50,000 for his release from the Indian Prison.
The suspect Ragunathan alias Sampath is alleged to be behind the recent smuggling of one and half kilos of heroin into Ja-Ela and a further eleven kilos of heroin into Wattala .
His counterpart in India had been earlier arrested by the Indian Police with six kilos of heroin and 360 kilos of opium in possession. Several cases were pending against the Indian trafficker and several other linkmen in India, PNB officials said. Indian authorities recently had arrested several suspects involved in hard drug trafficking. Local investigations revealed that the suspect now under detention orders was allegedly responsible for supplying drugs to his Indian counterparts.
In another detection, Officials of the PNB arrested a Police Sergeant and a Constable attached to the Police Post at the New Kelaniya bridge. PNB officials took into custody 350 grams of heroin and Rs. 50,000 which was buried near the police post. The two policemen were later produced before the Maligakanda Magistrate and Additional District Judge Ms. Kusala Sarojini Werawardena and remanded pending the completion of the ongoing investigations. Investigations revealed that the two policemen had arrested a person with a heroin parcel concealed under the seat in the push cycle. The policemen at the Police post is alleged to have demanded a sum of Rs. 150,000 to release the suspect. The suspect had given Rs. 50,000 and promised to bring the balance later.
On information received, officials of the PNB conducted a raid at the Police post and found 350 grams of heroin and unearthed the Rs. 50,000 which was given to the Policemen.
Produced by Lake House