A retired Army Major General and a former Army Sergeant have been arrested by the Criminal Investigation Department on charges of trafficking ex-military personnel to conflict zones in Ukraine.

Police said they were arrested in the Kurunegala area.

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Police and Intelligence agencies have launched extensive operations to arrest illegal human traffickers and several people involved in a racket to send retired war veterans to the Russian-Ukrainian war front as members of mercenary groups.

The Ministry of Defence has also warned that a significant number of Sri Lankan war veterans who had joined as mercenaries have died or sustained injuries at the battlefield.

They said these war veterans have left for the Russian-Ukrainian war front as mercenaries after being duped by these human traffickers who had promised them an opportunity to join the foreign army, handsome salaries, citizenship in those countries and other benefits.

However, neither the serving nor the injured have received any salaries or benefits and these traffickers have not even given any sort of compensation to the families of those injured or the dead.

Further, they have failed to provide any information of the whereabouts of those war veterans to their families as well.

The Ministry  of Defence said that the law will be strictly enforced against the human smugglers, establishments and others involved in these illegal activities.

Earlier, the CID arrested two suspects operating a foreign employment agency in Kadawatha on charges of trafficking a group of 55 Sri Lankans to conflict zones in Ukraine.



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