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President to fight with Pakistani smugglers to bring ‘Harak Kata’ to SL

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The government has decided to get the Interpol assistance to bring drug traffickers Nandun Chinthaka alias ‘Harak Kata’ and Salindu Malshitha Gunarathne alias ‘Kudu Salindu’ from Madagascar to Sri Lanka.

The decision was taken after the country’s authorities were officially informed of the arrest of the suspects.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe has instructed the security chiefs at the National Security Council meeting held yesterday (07) to immediately bring this group of suspects from Madagascar to Sri Lanka and keep them under detention orders for further investigation.

Meanwhile, it has been revealed that Pakistani drug traffickers had already launched an operation to rescue ‘Harak Kata’ and others by paying money to the Madagascar security forces.

The ‘Aruna’ newspaper said according to unofficial sources, USD 3 million have been sent from Dubai to Madagascar for this purpose.

A lawyer has also been sent from France to rescue Harak Kata and others.

The newspaper reported that the suspects were arrested according to the information provided by the Interpol branch of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to the International Police Headquarters.

Accordingly, a special discussion was held yesterday (7) regarding the attempts to bring the group to Sri Lanka by sending a special CID team to Madagascar. 

It has been decided to send a team including an Assistant Superintendent of Police as well as the Police Special Task Force to Madagascar.

Many Asian countries have also informed the interpol and the Government of Madagascar at diplomatic level about the relations maintained by the culprits involved in this regional drug network with the involvement of extremist groups of Iran and Pakistan.

Accordingly, it has been decided to hand over these suspects to Sri Lanka.

Current investigations have revealed that Harak Kata and others had come to Madagascar with the intention of fleeing to Malaysia and then to Europe or another country.

The Ministry of Public Security had held several rounds of negotiations to get back the drug traffickers and gangsters hiding in Dubai, UAE to Sri Lanka utilizing diplomatic relations.

Meanwhile, the security forces have received information that drug smugglers in Dubai are planning to escape to other countries.

Harak Kata had arrived in Madagascar as a business tycoon in a private jet.

He was arrested in the United Arab Emirates on August 19 last year when he was trying to travel abroad with a passport prepared under the name of Roshan Isanka.

Among the people who went to Madagascar with Harak Kata is an Ethiopian woman named Amaitu Mohammed Noor, who has appeared as Harak Kata’s wife.

It has been revealed that Harak Kata has a one year and nine month old child named Herath Dissanayakege Marcel Etesh.

The arrested group includes an Indian named Rajesh Rajaram and a South African named Frakthevis Peters.

Two shooters involved in the incident where shots were fired at an ambulance driver near Panadura Hospital are also among the arrested suspects and one of them has been identified as Sarath Kumara.

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Expressways generate whopping income during Avurudu season

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The expressways have generated an income of Rs. 159,802,950 from April 10 – 13, Road Development Authority (RDA) says.

According to the Director of Expressway Operation Maintenance and Management Division – R.A.D. Kahatapitiya.

Over 4,350,000 vehicles have used the expressways during this period, he has added.
As many as 366,000 vehicles have used the expressways during this three-day period.

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Special transport arrangements to those returning to Colombo

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Special train services are in operation from this evening (April 14) for people to return to Colombo after the Sinhala and Tamil New Year holidays, the Railways Department said.

Deputy General Manager of Sri Lanka Railways –  N.J. Indipolage stated that accordingly, eight additional train journeys will be in operation from Badulla, Galle and Beliatta railway stations to Colombo Fort.

The Department of Railways also mentioned that the office trains will be operational as per usual from April 16.

Meanwhile, the National Transport Commission has said that special buses will be deployed to transport those who had gone to their hometowns during the New Year.
Bus associations have also stated that buses to Colombo will be operational.

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Local multi-day fishing trawler seized with ICE & heroin worth over Rs. 3798 Mn.

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In another successful intelligence operation of the Sri Lanka Navy, a local multi-day fishing trawler (01) carrying a large haul of narcotics, with 06 suspects aboard, were intercepted about 133 nautical miles (about 246 km) off Dondra, south of Sri Lanka. 

The operation also resulted in the seizure of another local one-day fishing trawler (01) with 04 suspects, believed to have been there to fetch the consignment of narcotics mid-sea. The operation was mounted by deploying Sri Lanka Coast Guard Ship (SLCG) Samudraraksha which made the apprehension on 12th April 2024.

 The haul of narcotics included about 179kg and 906g of crystal methamphetamine (Ice) and about 83kg and 582g of heroin (with their packages). The Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera arrived at the Galle Harbour on 13th April to inspect the consignment of narcotics held in this operation.
The Sri Lanka Navy and Coast Guard regularly patrol and conduct search operations along the island’s coast to prevent illegal activities, such as drug trafficking, stemming via sea routes.

During this dedicated operation based on naval intelligence, a suspicious multi-day fishing trawler, which was about 133 nautical miles (246 km) off the south coast of the island, was intercepted and searched by SLCG Samudraraksha. As the fishing trawler was suspected of smuggling a haul of crystal methamphetamine and heroin in 17 sacks, during the search, the narcotic-carrying trawler was held on 12th April, with 06 suspects aboard.

Additionally, SLCG Samudraraksha inspected another local one-day fishing trawler, which was plying suspiciously in the sea area. During the inspection, 04 suspects were apprehended, along with the trawler, on suspicion of attempting to exchange narcotics with the multi-day trawler previously seized.

Following a thorough search of the suspicious multi-day fishing trawler at the Galle Harbour on 13th April, authorities recovered 17 sacks containing crystal methamphetamine and heroin. The haul of crystal methamphetamine, weighing about 179kg and 906g (including packages), were in 129 packages, stuffed in 13 sacks and the stash of heroin, weighing about 83kg and 582g (including packages), were in 76 packages, contained in 04 sacks. The consignment of narcotics, along with the 06 suspects and the multi-day fishing trawler was handed over to the Police Narcotic Bureau (PNB) for onward legal action.

Moreover, the 04 individuals, along with the one-day fishing trawler, which were seized on suspicion of being involved in a drug exchange at sea, were also handed over to PNB for further legal action.

The individuals held in the operation are known to reside in the Weligama, Imaduwa, and Galle areas, ranging in age from 23 to 54 years old. Meanwhile, the gross street value of the consignment of drugs seized during this operation is believed to be more than Rs. 3798 million.

Including the recent confiscation, the Sri Lanka Navy has held drugs with a gross street value of over Rs. 9300 million during operations mounted so far in 2024. The Sri Lanka Navy – the country’s first line of defence is committed to coordinating with other law enforcement authorities, to carry out anti-drug operations of this nature in order to foil drug smuggling attempts being made in the guise of fishing.

(navy.lk)

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