Police, Navy and Army intensify fight against drug smuggling | Daily News


Police, Navy and Army intensify fight against drug smuggling

The Defence Ministry has given instructions to the Security Forces and the Police to intensify raids on drug smuggling, including Kerala ganja (cannabis) in order to eradicate the drug menace and also to prevent the flow of illegal drugs into the country.

Defence Secretary Maj.Gen. (Retd) Kamal Gunaratne said directives came from President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to expedite raids and also to strengthen surveillance on drug traffickers.

“The Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) and Police are conducting raids on illegal drugs very effectively and under the President’s directives.The Sri Lanka Army (SLA) has also stepped into combating drug mafia,” he said, referring to the detection of a large haul by Army and Police’s Special Task Force (STF) personnel yesterday.

He said the main intention of getting the Security Forces and the Police to one fold was to create a well-coordinated programme to combat the drug menace.

“We are committed and dedicated to control drug trafficking to protect our future generations,” the Defence Secretary said.

Acting Chief of Defence Staff and Army Commander Lt.Gen. Shavendra Silva said his troops were fully committed to supporting the Government’s efforts to eradicate the drug menace from Sri Lanka and on the directives of President Rajapaksa, the Army had set up a special unit to fight the drug mafia.

“The Security Forces, which eradicated terrorism in the country 10-years ago have been given a new task – to combat – drug trafficking. We have given instructions to all Security Forces Commanders, especially the SF HQ Wanni, to take speedy measures to nab drug smugglers,” he said, adding that drugs smuggling is a widespread issue in Mannar, Vavuniya and Jaffna. The Army Commander said the large haul of kerala cannabis which was seized troops and the STF would have been transported by sea and the Army would continue to conduct special operations to nab drug smugglers. “President Rajapaksa and Defence Secretary Maj.Gen. Gunaratna have given clear instructions to Security Forces to fight against drug smugglers, especially to save the future generation from drug menace,” he said, adding that drug smugglers are now targeting school children to attract them to different forms of illegal drugs. According to SLA sources, the Army personnel have seized over 383 kilos, including 320 kilos of Kerala cannabis seized yesterday, during the last two months from the Northern Province. The Sri Lanka Navy which had seized over 3.4 tons of Kerala cannabis in 2019, has seized 1,127 kilos of Kerala cannabis during the last two-months. The Police and the STF had carried out 45,980 raids, seized 5,561 kilos of cannabis, including Kerala cannabis while taking 45,765 people into custody in 2019. During the last two months, the Police and the STF have conducted 8,227 raids while seizing 1,092 kilos of cannabis and 8,162 people involved in drug smuggling, into custody. 

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