National Security Advisor to the President Sagala Ratnayaka announced the forthcoming establishment of an ‘Anti-Narcotic Command’ to combat the influx of drugs from foreign nations into Sri Lanka.
This initiative will empower the country’s armed forces and the State Intelligence Service (SIS) to collaborate with international intelligence agencies in conducting necessary operations.
Sagala Ratnayaka, who is also the President's Chief of Staff, conveyed these insights while inspecting the recent seizure of 200 kilograms of heroin valued at Rs. 4 billion.
The large haul of drugs which was intercepted in the high seas was brought to the Colombo port on October 23. (Photo: PMD)
Based on data obtained from a collaborative mission involving the Sri Lanka Navy and the Police Narcotics Bureau, the Sri Lanka Coast Guard Ship ‘Samudraraksha’ was dispatched on a deep-sea mission approximately 91 nautical miles (168 km) to the west of Galle.
Noting that the drafting of essential legislation to create this ‘Anti-Narcotic Command’ is currently underway, NSA Ratnayaka said it will soon be presented to the Parliament.
Highlighting that only 65% of drug raids result in arrests, he said that the remaining 35% continues to infiltrate the country, stressing the urgency of implementing a modern program aimed at entirely preventing the entry of drugs into Sri Lanka.
"According to the latest intelligence, these drug shipments arrive at the international maritime border via large vessels and are subsequently transported into the country via smaller boats. This expansive drug network poses a significant challenge. Furthermore, there is a concerning possibility of arms trafficking intertwined with these drug trades. Vigilance in this regard is paramount, as it could pose a substantial threat to national security. To address these challenges, the development of new legislation is underway, with the creation of an Anti-Narcotic Command in progress," he added.