Police officers from the Colombo Crime Division (CCD) yesterday morning intercepted a luxury bus en route to Colombo, seizing 18 kg of methamphetamine – commonly known as ‘ICE’ – and arrested a 29-year-old suspect who was the driver of the vehicle.
According to Police Spokesman DIG Ajith Rohana, the intelligence-led operation had stopped the bus in Kosgoda when the driver, a resident of Homagama, had attempted to flee the scene. The bus had no passengers at the time when the Police stopped it.
“The 29-year-old was the only occupant of the vehicle and was the driver. He had attempted to flee and was arrested. The narcotic ‘ICE’ was hidden in 18 one-kilo packages. The luxury bus had been transferred to the driver through an agreement for a period of one month by the owner,” DIG Rohana explained during a press conference held at the CCD yesterday.
Initial inquires have revealed that the suspect had received instructions to drive the bus to Hikkaduwa from Kandy, where he was instructed again to move the bus to Seenigama and then to Kosgoda, where the narcotic packages had been concealed in the bus near a school, DIG Rohana said. Police suspect that the narcotic trafficking attempt was organised by an organised criminal group, with instructions received over multiple mobile phones.
“We believe that the bus was acquired for the purpose of smuggling drugs around the country. The CCD suspects that the key person behind this trafficking attempt is an accomplice of the late organised crime figure, alias Angoda Lokka,” DIG Rohana said. The Police suspect that the organised criminal Herath Mudiyanselage Asanka Kumara Herath, alias ‘Latii’, who is suspected to be hiding in India, was behind the methamphetamine haul.
“The suspect, who is known by the alias ‘Latti’, is also alleged to have been involved in the 2017 ambush of a prison bus, which led to the death of two Prisons officers and five prisoners,” Ajith Rohana said, adding that more arrests were possible in the coming days. (AF)