Three units probe PNB drug scandal: Investigators still in the lookout for the missing IP

By Sarah Hannan

Further investigations are underway following the arrests made last week of four police officers who worked at the Police Narcotic Bureau (PNB), with Sri Lanka Police yesterday (1) appointing three special units to conduct in-depth investigations to unravel the linked persons, DIG Ajith Rohana told the media.

Investigations headed by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) commenced on 19 June led to the arrests of four police officers and two civilians who are now held in custody for further questioning and investigations, DIG Rohana added.

Two vans, a Pajero jeep, Rs. 31.2 million in cash, and real estate properties in various locations amounting to an acreage of 10 acres have now been confiscated by the investigating team and legal action will be taken under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

In addition to that, 20 pounds of gold accessories too have been confiscated. Transactions on three bank accounts have been temporarily ceased and that too will be prosecuted under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

“The primary evidence in the case has been the financial transactions that took place on an account that was used by the drug ring. The account had Rs. 490 million in it and the investigations were carried out by the Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) with the assistance of the Financial

Investigation Division of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL),” Police Media Spokesperson SSP Jaliya Senaratne said.

The arrested officers were interdicted from their positions by the PNB Director on 29 June.

The police unit in question is said to have removed heroin weighing about 90 kg from a consignment of 250 kg that was peddled to Sri Lanka by a drug kingpin who is supposedly hiding in Dubai. The missing narcotics were allegedly sold to another competitor of the kingpin who is in hiding.

The investigators are still in the lookout for the Inspector of Police (IP) who allegedly headed the Police Narcotics Unit that engaged in criminal activities.

The Police further stated that the suspects will be tried at court under the National Dangerous Drugs Control Board Act and the interdicted police officers will also be tried under the Police Ordinance.