Three CID teams probing PNB-drug lords’ links | Daily News
Stern action against corrupt PNB officers

Three CID teams probing PNB-drug lords’ links

25 CID officers on drug money trail

The CID has deployed three teams to investigate links between Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) officers and drug dealers. Around 25 CID officers have been included in these teams to carry out the investigations. 

Addressing a media briefing held at the Police Headquarters yesterday, DIG Ajith Rohana said, “As soon as we received the information regarding corruption involving four officers of the PNB, the Acting IGP immediately ordered an investigation. Among the accused are a Sub-Inspector (SI), two Police Sergeants and a Police Constable (PC) attached to the PNB. They are being detained and interrogated.” 

Two other individuals connected to the racket externally have also been arrested on June 25 and 26. They are currently being interrogated under detention orders. 

He added that CID investigations have uncovered information that these arrested PNB officers were indirectly connected to this drug racket.  

He said that the CID has taken into custody two vans and a jeep from the possession of the arrested officers and that the vehicles are suspected to have been used in the racket.

In addition to this a sum of Rs 31.2 million and around 20 pounds of gold jewellery have also been taken into CID custody.

Meanwhile close to 10 Acres of land from properties in various areas purchased by the four officers and connected individuals have been temporarily confiscated and will be permanently taken over in the future under the Money Laundering Act, DIG Ajith Rohana said. 

Three bank accounts connected to the suspects have been frozen temporarily, he said. He said that despite the PNB being a part of the Police Department, no leniency will be tolerated and every possible action will be taken against these corrupt officers. “If they are found guilty of corruption or fraud, they will also be charged in the future. The CID took over the case on the 19th and by the 25th these suspects were arrested. We won’t stop here but all those who aided or abetted in this incident will also be arrested.” 

The PNB has rendered a great service in tackling the drug scourge in the country, but due to the actions of a handful of corrupt officers, the whole department has come under disrepute. 

Over the past five years from 2015 to date the police had taken into custody 4,338 Kg of heroin and arrested a total of 165,257 suspects. Similarly, over 27,581kg of Cannabis had been seized with charges filed against 252,259 suspects. Another 1,828 Kg of Cocaine has been seized with charges filed against 153 persons since 2015. He said that the Sri Lankan Police has been maintaining close ties with international police agencies and as a result they have been able to make several breakthroughs to address this drug scourge. 

The police have filed 582 cases in the High Court since 2013 against drug smugglers and racketeers and 61 suspects have been given the death sentence and another 161 have been sentenced to life in prison over drug charges. 

DIG Rohana said that despite this incident involving a handful of corrupt PNB officers, the Police department, including the PNB will forge ahead to arrest those involved in the narcotics trade and is now more committed to eradicating the drug scourge from the country under the directions of the President.  

Meanwhile, Acting IGP C.D. Wickramaratne has requested the National Police Commission (NPC) to transfer PNB DIG Sajeewa Medawatta and PNB Director SSP Manjula Senarath. 

Speaking to the Daily News Police Media Spokesman SSP Jaliya Senaratne said that the PNB DIG and the Director would be transferred after the approval of the National Police Commission is received.

He said that the two PNB heads would be transferred to facilitate an impartial inquiry.  

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