No pardon for police officers involved in crimes – AG

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –Attorney General Dappula de Livera says the government would not grant any pardon to officers of the Police Department involved in crimes.

The Attorney General stating that disciplinary action should be taken against the offending officers said the Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) teams that conduct raids had not been properly supervised and the supervisors should take responsibility for the inefficiencies.

The Attorney General expressed these views delivering a speech to the Police Narcotics Bureau officers and senior police officers at the DIG’s office in Colombo recently.

The top lawyer said something has happened to the Police Narcotics Bureau today that has never happened in history and it has damaged public confidence in the police.

“Honest officers are helpless in a place where corrupt officials are and they cannot perform their duties properly. Therefore, corrupt officers should be kicked out and the good officers should be protected.”

The Attorney General said after investigations, 16 officers of the Police Narcotics Bureau were arrested on suspicion and produced in court. They were arrested on allegation of their involvement in drug trafficking, collaborating with organized crime syndicates for weapons procurement, aiding and abetting murder, conspiracy and violent crimes. The Sixteen suspects have been remanded.

“To my knowledge this has never happened before. This will undermine public confidence in the police and severely impact the justice system. We need to rebuild this institution and build public trust. The officials are responsible for rebuilding the institution. The Police Narcotics Bureau will never be allowed to collapse,” Dappula de Livera said.

He explained that drug trafficking in the country is a complex, an integrated network. “Criminals who run the racket from inside the prison, prison guards who support it, the underworld operatives inside as well as outside the prisons, smugglers who flee the country and hide in countries like Dubai and boaters who bring in drugs to the country are all in this network.”

“While there are good, honest and efficient officers in the Police Narcotics Bureau, few corrupt officers are in this network as well and we need to identify those. There are others who are dealing with black money earned from crimes. This black money is transferred out of the country by legal methods through banks as well as by illegal smuggling,” the Attorney General said. Solicitor General Sumathi Dharmawardena, Deputy Solicitor General Dileepa Peiris, Senior State Counsel Janaka Bandara, Attorney General’s Coordinator and Senior State Counsel Nisara Jayaratne were also present. Acting Inspector General of Police CD Wickramaratne delivered the welcome speech.

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