Over 61,550 arrested in 2020 narcotics busts

At least 61,550 people were arrested for narcotic related offences last year, a senior most police official said.

He added that almost 1,000 kilograms of heroin and other synthetic drugs were also seized during this period.

Intelligence reports received from around the country said a large scarcity of the widely used heroin drug forced addicts to opt for cheaper purchases of synthetic substances to maintain their habit.

In a related development, the police had obtained Interpol Red Notices against 24 Sri Lankan drug traffickers who are in hiding overseas. The bulk of the Sri Lankan drug barons are known to be hiding mainly in South India and the United Arab Emirates.

They are also persons of interest in police investigations of various other crimes such as money laundering, extortion, human trafficking and intimidation among other criminal activities.

In the most recent update over 3,800 persons were rounded up during a special police anti-crime operation carried out throughout the country on Thursday, a top most official said yesterday.

Among those arrested were 1,430 persons who had been evading courts with arrest warrants served on them, 562 suspects wanted in connection with various criminal offences, 1,108 linked to drugs and illicit liquor related trade, 16 others who had firearms and 607 drunken drivers, Police Media Spokesman Deputy Inspector General (DIG) and Attorney at Law Ajith Rohana said.

Another 6,400 cases were registered against errant motorists for driving without a valid licence and violating traffic laws, he said.

Some 18,357 police officers of all ranks were pressed into the operation that commenced from 6.00 pm and ended 10.00 pm on the same day.

The operation was carried out on the directions of the Inspector General of Police C. D. Wickramaratne.

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