- Unit to be under CID Director and will probe assets of drugs traffickers among others
- Will also investigate intellectual property violations, credit card fraud and investigate bank accounts linked to criminals
- Technical assistance to be given to seize assets under PTA
By Asiri Fernando
The Police will launch a new unit under the preview of the Director of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to investigate assets acquired through criminal enterprise and prosecute offenders under existing money laundering laws, a top official said yesterday.
According to Senior DIG Deshabandu Tennakoon, the new unit will focus on illegal assets amassed by narcotic traffickers and will endeavour to seizes lands, buildings, vehicles, investments and bank accounts, held or purchased through the profits of the narcotics trade.
“We will in the coming days, for the first time, launch a unit under the CID to investigate assets obtained through the profits of crime. The unit will investigate assets acquired throughout the country and prosecute those offenders under the money laundering laws and seize such assets,” Sr. DIG Tennakoon said at a press conference held at the Police Headquarters yesterday.
According to the Police, the new unit named Illegal Assets and Intellectual Property Investigation Unit (IAIPIU) will be established at Chatham Street and will fall under the preview of the DIG in charge of the CID.
According to the Police, the unit will be structured with seven sub-units. The units will investigate the telephone communication networking of convicts and those in remand custody, investigate bank accounts linked to organised criminals and freeze such accounts. The seizures will focus on current investigations launched by the CID, Terrorism Investigation Unit (TID), Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) and the Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB).
Sub-units of the IAIPIU will also investigate complaints on intellectual property violations and assist in obtaining information from foreign companies and their local representatives, assist regional Police units in investigations related to credit card and ATM card fraud, related crimes and provide technical support and advice for computer crimes and data theft investigations.
The unit will also provide technical assistance and advice to seize assets of organisations proscribed under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), and of those prosecuted under the Dangerous Drugs and Poisons Act among others.
Tennakoon said that the Police has identified most of the narcotics trafficking networks in the island and the new unit will seek to investigate and prosecute those who have used the profits of crime to gain assets, under the Money Laundering Act.