News

What happens to seized drugs? Police Spokesperson explains

Sri Lanka has seen many police raids, where millions of rupees worth of drugs are seized.

The Morning learns that these drugs are then moved to a secure place with the Police Narcotics Bureau who then destroys the drugs in front of the magistrates courtroom

While speaking to The Morning, Sri Lanka Police spokesperson SSP Nihal Thalduwa said that this only applies to small quantities of drugs.

“The seized drugs are always destroyed in front of the magistrates courtroom, so there are witnesses. Whereas, this can only be done in smaller quantities such as less than 250-500g of the drug. Recently, we have seized kilos and kilos of drugs such as cocaine, ICE and Heroin, and these cannot be destroyed as they are larger quantities. Also, there isn’t a law stating how we should destroy these drugs. Because of this, we have approached the Ministry of Justice for advice,” he said.

He went on to explain that the Ministry of Justice is currently working on a law which will focus on the disposal methods for these illegal street drugs.

“There are many aspects that need to be thought of. The drugs needs to be disposed in a manner that does not damage the environment and also in way where these drugs cannot be recovered. These suggestions need to be made by physicists who will then tell the Ministry of Justice on appropriate ways to dispose of the drugs,” Thalduwa mentioned.

Further, Thalduwa mentioned that the only way to eradicate the drug problem in Sri Lanka is through education and proper rehabilitation.

“Drug addiction is a psychological problem. We have to understand that these addicts either use or deal drugs because they generate an income by dealing, and also meets their needs to forget their problems. The only way forward is to understand this and educate the addicts on how their lives would and can be if they chose the right way to earn money and live a clean life,” mentioned Thalduwa.

Additionally, Thalduwa appreciated the efforts made by the Minister of Justice Ali Sabry for his progressive and modern way of thinking.

“Sabry is a positive person. He is progressive and has a modern way of thinking. This is very important if we are to help the addicts to recover and be rehabilitated. They should not be left out of society and treated like criminals. Instead, what Sabry is doing in his awareness campaigns and his rehabilitation methods is that he is giving hope to the addicts that they can life a full life once they are out of the rehabs and back in society, if they are educated and given chances to do proper jobs,” Thalduwa stated.

Recently, Minister of Justice Ali Sabry held a meeting, where he had made suggestions to the Prisons department officials to treat the addicts with “respect and dignity”, and also help in vocational education for the prisoners so that they would be able to contribute positively to society once they are released from prison. He had also explored the options of educating the prisoners for employment abroad.