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Tuesday, 10 July 2012






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Stepped-up ops against drug pushing

The government’s efforts to fight the illicit drug trade with the assistance of the law enforcement agencies has succeeded in bringing drug abuse under control, sources at the Police Narcotic Bureau and National Dangerous Drugs Control Board (NDDCB) said yesterday.

SP Ajith Rohana

Leisha de Silva

The intensified crackdown on the drug mafia on the directive of Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has knocked out the drug network, the sources added.

NDDCB chairman Leisha de Silva said this was achieved through a systematic process of robust law enforcement which stood side by side with a programme to discourage the use of illegal drugs.

According to Sri Lanka Customs and Police, they systematically dismantled organised drug network in the country.

“There are hardly any narcotic drugs being peddled on the streets or in the market today,” Police spokesman SP Ajith Rohana said.

He said however there were still the remnants of narcotic dealers whose illegal operations will soon end.

Police arrested 20, 000 individuals for drug- related offences during the past six months.

Asked if this was not an indication of the problem of drug abuse on the upward trend, SP Rohana said the figures indicate the level of intensified police operations against drug abuse.

“There have been an increase in drug related arrests by the Police,” he said. “Unlike in the past, the death sentence is being imposed on big time drug criminals as part of the drug control strategy.”

He said it cannot be inferred that the production of narcotic drugs or drug users have increased in the country on the basis of the number of arrests made.

“In fact there is a significant decline in the quantities of drugs taken into custody by the Police.”

The NDDCB chairman said with the expansion of treatment and rehabilitation programmes for drug dependents, the use of narcotic drugs has dropped drastically.

She said there has been a lot of publicity given to drug related stories over the media of late and this does not mean the problems has escalated.

This goes on to show there is a comprehensive programme to combat drug trafficking. This has really put the reins on drug criminals, de Silva said.

“As anyone can see today, there is a significant dearth in illicit drug supplies in the market. This is the result of the unified efforts of the government’s law enforcement agencies, Sri Lanka Customs, Police Narcotics Bureau, Special Task Force, Army, Health Ministry, National Dangerous Drugs Control Board and other stakeholders,” she said.


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