The Sri Lankan Police arrested 285 drug traffickers yesterday (Jan. 29) in a 7-hour special operation in the Western and Southern Provinces in order to trap drug traffickers.
This is a unique operation carried out by the Sri Lanka Police Department in recent history in coordination with all investigative units.
The Sri Lanka Police and the Special Task Force took the initiative for the operation.
The Sri Lanka Army, Air Force and Intelligence and Narcotics Bureau supported the operation. This unique operation was carried out under the direct supervision and guidance of the Minister of Public Security, Tiran Alas.
A few weeks ago, according to a secret plan made by the Intelligence Division and Anti-Narcotics Bureau officials, a secret intelligence operation was implemented to identify drug traffickers in the Western Province and the Southern Province.
The primary objective of this intelligence operation was to identify drug traffickers rather than arresting drug addicts. Based on that information, this joint operation started at five in the morning yesterday. Drone cameras and helicopters were used for that. During the operation, it was seen that the Air Force used the drone cameras and helicopters to prevent drug traffickers and organized criminals from fleeing.
At six or seven in the morning, the identified places in the Western Province were raided and while the police teams continued to conduct search operations, the officers of the Special Task Force were seen chasing and arresting drug traffickers.
To see if the smugglers were fleeing, the airmen on board the air force helicopters began to monitor from the air using high-tech cameras. Apart from that, drone cameras were also seen hovering in the skies of Colombo and its surroundings. The specialty of this operation was that all the security personnel worked together. It is also a unique event seen in recent history.
As this operation was carried out in one go according to a secret plan, many drug peddlers could not escape from their homes and tipolas. However, at around 12.00 noon, the police stationed in the respective domains arrested the suspects. Due to this operation, a large number of drug traffickers were trapped in the local police domains. This joint operation made it possible to arrest 285 drug traffickers in the Western Province. Among them were 60 drug traffickers and those involved in them who were arrested by the Police Special Task Force.
Since the Western Province and the Southern Province were the hubs of drug traffickers, the primary goal of the officials was to somehow arrest the traffickers involved in drug trafficking in those two provinces and disrupt the drug network in those provinces.
The officers were able to trap 33 suspects from Nugegoda Division, 70 people from Galkissa Division, 4 from Negombo Division and 13 from Gampaha Division in the operation that was conducted within 7 hours.
24 suspects were arrested from Colombo North Division, 30 from Colombo South and 10 suspects from Colombo Central Division belonging to the Colombo District where drug trafficking is widespread.
Also, the officers raided the identified locations in Panadura Division and Kalutara Division and arrested 12 persons from Panadura Division and 14 persons from Kalutara Division.
The State Intelligence Service’s contribution to this unique operation should be appreciated.
Since a few weeks ago, they had been roaming around in the places where drug trafficking is widespread in the Western Province, getting information from spies and drug addicts and getting information about drug traffickers at the local level in those areas.
The officers of the intelligence department had been operating in areas like Colombo North Division, Wellampitiya, Modara Babowita, Grandpass, Dematagoda, Galkissa etc. last week for that purpose.
Police Media Spokesman Senior Superintendent of Police Advocate Nihal Talduwa emphasized that plans have been prepared to launch such operations in the future and sometimes such operations will be implemented throughout the country.
He also mentioned that these operations are aimed at drug traffickers rather than drugs.
The Senior Superintendent of Police also mentioned that all the suspects who were arrested yesterday (Jan. 29) have been prosecuted and arrangements have been made to implement the law.
It is also special that the arrested suspects are involved in heroin, ganja and Kerala ganja business. The Sri Lanka Police along with the Army and Air Forces, the Anti Narcotics Bureau, the Special Task Force and the State Intelligence Service jointly launched this operation and the Ministry of Public Security coordinated this operation.
The Ministry of Public Security has decided to launch such operations continuously across the country without giving any pardon to the drug traffickers in the future and these operations will be conducted under the supervision and guidance of the Minister of Public Security, Tiran Alas. For that, the Inspector General of Police had given the necessary instructions to all the police officers and the Special Task Force.
Meanwhile, the Police Media Spokesperson said that nearly 1 kg of heroin and 1 kg of ganja were seized from the operation conducted yesterday morning.
(A report written by Keerthi Mendis for Mawbima)