Corrupt officials hampering drug bust – IGP

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) – Preventing underworld drug kingpins operating from within the prison is a huge challenge due to limited resources and Prisons Department staff, Inspector General of Police Pujith Jayasundara said.

Addressing the media yesterday he said in some of these high profile cases, the police officers are helpless when pressure is brought on them by higher authorities with regard to some of the high profile cases.

Although the police have arrested several drug kingpins and put them behind bars, there still does not seem to be a reduction in drug smuggling and peddling network. There are allegations that most of these drug lords operate their networks even while behind bars, through mobile phones.

When asked about this situation, the IG said that while on one hand the police do their job, there is always another set of institutions and persons that assist these criminals simply for monetary advantages and privileges.

“The first stage is to enforce the law pertaining to those within Sri Lanka who assist these drug lords. During the past few weeks, the local associates of such underworld drug kingpins have been arrested and imprisoned. Drugs and weapons in their possession were also seized. The second stage is to arrest the main underworld leaders who are absconding in other countries,” the Police Spokesman said.

Responding to a query raised by the media as to why the use of mobile phones cannot be prevented within the Welikada prison, as has been done at the Mahara prison, the IGP said they had tried jamming at Welikada prison, but criminals had found ways to creep through them.

He noted that there are also issues with regard to transporting these prisoners etc from far out prisons. However, the IG added that they are working on methods of overcoming these obstacles and finding viable solutions to these issues.

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