Police commence operation ‘Yukthiya’ to eradicate drugs and underworld 

Monday, 18 December 2023 01:20 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • Acting IGP Deshabandu Tennekoon says focus of special operation is to dismantle drug trafficking rings in SL 
  • Claims persons to be arrested during raids have been identified through information from intelligence agencies 
  • Public Security Minister Tiran Alles reiterates commitment to eliminate drug trafficking network
  • Assures no drug trafficker will escape through connections once arrested 

The Sri Lanka Police during the weekend initiated a special operation titled ‘Yukthiya’ (Justice) to combat drugs and eradicate underworld activities, spearheaded by the newly appointed Acting IGP Deshabandu Tennekoon. 

The action follows a directive from the Minister of Public Security, Tiran Alles, who set a deadline of 30 June 2024 for the Police top brass to implement comprehensive changes regarding drugs and underworld activities in the country.

Speaking to the media, Acting IGP Deshabandu Tennekoon said the raids have been strategically planned, differing from the usual operations. “The focus is not on nabbing illicit drug users but those involved in drug trafficking rings,” he said. 

Acting IGP Tennekoon emphasised that individuals identified as drug distributors have been pinpointed based on information from intelligence agencies and community policing networks. He added however illegal drug users if found will also be taken into custody and efforts will be made to rehabilitate them through Community Policing networks.

Accordingly, the Police together with the Special Task Force (STF), and the Sri Lanka Army commenced raids across the Island yesterday. Police Spokesperson SSP Nihal Thalduwa said the raids were carried out in targeted areas covering all 607 Police Stations across Sri Lanka. 

According to the Police, 38 persons were arrested during an early morning raid at the Wellampitiya Sanhinda Housing Scheme along with two suspects wanted for the possession of substantial quantities of heroin. A similar raid was also carried out at the Panadura Modarawila Housing Scheme. 

As of last night, the Police have arrested 83 suspects and seized illegal drugs and narcotics including heroin, Kerala cannabis and ICE. 

The Police are encouraging the public to share tips and have guaranteed the anonymity of informants. A dedicated 24-hour operations desk has been established at the Police Headquarters in Colombo. The public can report information on illegal drugs to the desk by dialling 0718598800. SSP Nihal Thalduwa assured that the operators will not have access to the incoming call numbers to ensure the anonymity and safety of those providing information.

At an event yesterday, Minister of Public Security Tiran Alles emphasised his commitment to eliminating the drug trafficking network in the country. “I will ensure this. Some claim there is no point, as drug traffickers often use connections to avoid punishment. As long as I am Minister, I will ensure that no one can escape the law in that manner.” he said. 

The Minister said he is facing many challenges in carrying out the task but has instructed the Acting IGP and Commandant of the STF to take any necessary measures. He also warned the underworld to cease all criminal activities to avoid a tragic fate at the hands of the Police.