Over 90,000 illicit drug users in Sri Lanka - PNB | Daily News


Over 90,000 illicit drug users in Sri Lanka - PNB

Sri Lanka has over 90,000 users of illicit drugs and most of them are between the ages 18–30, Police Narcotic Bureau (PNB) statistics pointed out.

According to the PNB Director SSP Manjula Senarath, nearly 60,000 of them are drug addicts.

Narcotics such as heroin and cocaine and synthetic drugs including crystal methamphetamine (ice drug) are popular among these users.

Statistics also show that these drugs are circulating within the Western Province at a higher rate than the other areas.

SSP Senarath said since January 1, 2013 up to date, 56 convicts have been sentenced to death for drug-related cases under the Provision of the Poisons, Opium and Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Act No 13 of 1984. In addition, 153 other offenders have been subjected to life imprisonment while 370 have been remanded on the similar cases.

“During the period, Rs. 16.4 million has been charged as fines from the culprits,” he said. Stressing that the said Act has no provisions to meet out punishment for the cases-related to synthetic drug users such as ‘ice’, the Director said steps are being taken to make the necessary amendments to the Act.

The law enforcement authorities arrested the largest ever heroin haul found in Sri Lanka, 294 kilograms last year. In that year alone, the PNB had taken 1,739 kilogrammes of heroin and nearly 7,000 Kerala Cannabis into the custody.

Nearly, 42, 000 suspects have been arrested over the drug-related cases in 2019 by the PNB and 48 of them are foreigners.

The PNB in a joint raid with the Sri Lanka Navy arrested 66 kilogrammes of ice drug off the seas off Galle last Saturday (29).

“Approximately 60 percent of the illicit drugs arrive in the island through sea routes,” the SSP said.

Therefore, he urged the need of a system to monitor the arrival and departure of fishing boats in the country to curb the menace.

“Around 900 suspects are currently being rehabilitated for drug related offenses,” the PNB Director further added.

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